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VIISA and the Vietnam Fintech Club announced the first FinTech Lab in Vietnam at its opening event in Hanoi  on January 24.

The event was attended by representatives from the State Bank of Vietnam, the Vietnam Banking Association, NGOs, funds, and investors such as Dragon Capital and BIDV.

Over the formative years of these strategic partnerships, the Vietnam Fintech Club and VIISA have gained experience and traction in their strategy to include open innovation in partnerships with startups.

Both have expressed a desire to develop their participation in accelerators to focus on working with fintech startups that are better positioned to pilot and quickly scale cooperation. Selected out of dozens of applications, the heavily customized program shortlisted three startups to join its inaugural batch.

This joint effort will extend the reach of both VIISA and the Vietnam Fintech Club, enabling participating startups access to executives from and the networks of both.

“We’re seeing an exciting dynamic where more global fintech startups are looking for opportunities to enter or expand in Asia, especially in Vietnam,” said Mr. Nguyen Thanh Dat, CEO of TheBank.vn, one of the three fintech companies to join the program. “In the last one or two years, Vietnamese banks have looked at seriously cooperating with fintech startups. Seeing these startups as partners instead of competitors has become a clear trend in Vietnam’s banking sector today.”

The six-month program provides participating startups with seed investment, an undisclosed amount of services such as co-working space, Amazon Web Services, HubSpot, Google Cloud, Mapbox, and Zendesk, mentorship from the Vietnam Fintech Club’s networks, such as Momo, Standard Chartered Bank, Dragon Capital, VFM, and BIDV, and attendance at the Investment Day to pitch to VIISA’s investor networks. Startups can also leverage Fintech Sandbox’s tailored enterprise-readiness program as well as its data and resources.

FinTech Lab 2019 includes three startups:

Growth Wealth: A customer-centric peer-to-peer lending platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam to obtain direct financing from individual and institutional investors. FinTech Lab is 100 per cent committed to serving its customers with the smartest financing solutions and world-class services.

bePOS: Partner of Success, from running your daily operations to better engaging with your customers, managing your staff, and even growing your market share. bePOS is the next generation of Point of Sale that enables you to do all these in the most exciting way.

TheBank.vn: TheBank.vn has been in operations since 2014 and is the first online financial advisory website in Vietnam. It compares products such as credit cards, loans, savings and insurance to provide free financial advice to consumers. In addition, TheBank connects customers with thousands of experts and consultants at banks and insurance companies around the country.

Vietnam has a large unbanked and under-banked population, as people don’t often use banking services but instead prefer going through cash-based channels for retail needs, according to Mr. Tran Huu Duc, CEO of VIISA and Permanent Vice Chairman of the Vietnam FinTech Club. “This means a large percentage of Vietnam’s population is unbanked, creating a huge window for fintech companies to jump in and compete with traditional banking,” he said.

FinTech Lab is poised to leverage Vietnam’s vibrant fintech ecosystem and leading regulatory landscape as well as an incredible pool of talent. “We look forward to supporting fintech startups in Vietnam to catch up with this wave,” he added.

[Source: vneconomictimes 27th January 2019]