Commercial banks rush to enter retail services

VietNamNet Bridge - Banks in the last three years have rushed to provide retail banking services, encouraged by the increased spending of middle-class income earners. Fifty-three percent of the 95 million population are of working age.


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Banks in the last three years have rushed to provide retail banking services


Though the opening of new bank branches in 2012-2015 was tightened by the State Bank, which only granted licenses in some special cases, the banks’ networks still have been expanding. The networks have been empowered not only by an increasingly high number of branches, but also ATMs, POS, Home Banking, Cell Banking and Center Banking. 

Vietnam’s GDP per capita in 2015 is $2,000, compared to the average level of $10,000 in the world. 

According to Can Van Luc, deputy CEO of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), Vietnam had 88 commercial banks by the third quarter, 5,100 branches and transaction offices, 70,000 current accounts, 16,100 ATMs, 192,000 POS, 45 card issuance organizations and 68.4 million cards.

The number of bank branches per 100,000 people in Vietnam remains modest if compared with developed countries, at 3.7 vs 33.9 in the US and 38.4 in Russia. Meanwhile, the number of ATMs per 100,000 people in Vietnam is 22.3, much lower than 290 in South Korea and 173 in the US,

Analysts think that in the near future, until 2020, the distribution channel would still heavily depend on the development of bank branches, ATMs, and POS. This means that great opportunities still exist for the enterprises which provide infrastructure items and technological solutions for traditional retail channels.

Digital banking has great potential

According to IMF, Vietnam’s GDP per capita in 2015 is $2,000, compared to the average level of $10,000 in the world. Meanwhile, a report of Nielsen pointed out that Vietnamese top the world in saving money.

However, Luc, citing a McKensey’s survey, said that Vietnam has a high percentage of people using digital banking services. The figure is 44 percent in Vietnam, higher than 41 percent in Malaysia, 36 percent in Indonesia and 19 percent in Thailand.

Huynh Song Hao, a senior executive of Vietcombank, said the potential of mobile banking in Vietnam is great with 43 percent of population using internet, 55 percent using smartphones, 12 percent using tablets and online shopping growing by 58 percent per annum.

Also according to Hao, 25 banks have mobile software, 13 use Simtolkit and 45 have developed SMS Banking.

Social networks

Service providers do not see opportunities for retail bankers via social networks. However, analysts noted that social networks, with their great advantages, have shown increasingly important roles in the finance market.
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