Central bank launches first-ever fintech challenge

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017 16:05

Fintech is booming world-wide, including Viet Nam.— File Photo

The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) on Tuesday officially launched the first-ever Fintech Challenge Viet Nam to spur innovation in financial services for greater financial inclusion in the country.

Viet Nam’s financial sector has grown substantially, but financial institutions still find it challenging to provide financial services to underserved customer segments, including small businesses, rural populations and urban migrants. The recent worldwide explosion of financial technology (fintech), including in Viet Nam, promises to fill this gap.

The focus of the Fintech Challenge is on fintech solutions that can improve the offer of financial services to the underserved and unbanked.

The challenge is an opportunity for Fintech companies from both inside and outside Viet Nam who are interested in collaborating with commercial banks to pilot and scale solutions that improve financial services in the following categories: electronic payments, e-KYC (Know Your Customer)/e-Identification, open APIs, blockchain and peer-to-peer lending to apply.

The deadline for application is January 18, 2018, at fintech.mekongbiz.org.

Fintech Challenge Viet Nam is being organised with the support of the Mekong Business Initiative, a programme funded by the Government of Australia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Successful applicants will participate in a two-month long incubation and mentoring programme to fine-tune their business models. Applicants with the best solutions will have the opportunity to demo their products and services at the 2018 Viet Nam Fintech Day.

Nguyen Kim Anh, the central bank’s deputy governor, said: “SBV wants to create an enabling ecosystem for financial innovation that improves access to financial services for Viet Nam’s micro- small- and medium-sized businesses and other underserved populations.”

According to Eric Sidgwick, ADB country director, the Fintech Challenge Viet Nam programme would create opportunities for Viet Nam’s commercial banks to engage with fintech, and consider how they might take advantage of the technology and creative new approaches to expand financial services to the unbanked.

SBV Fintech Steering Committee was established in March 2017 for enhancing the ecosystem, including a legal framework to facilitate the performance and development of fintech in Viet Nam. — VNS

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