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Fintech Challenge Vietnam Finals & Fintech Vietnam Forum 2018

· fintech,vietnam,startups
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Ha Noi, Viet Nam (May 29 - 30) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Australian Government sponsor Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) together, these parties coordinated with the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to organize the "Fintech Vietnam Forum 2018" and the "Fintech Challenge Vietnam (FCV)" for the first time in Vietnam.

FCV finals and Fintech Vietnam Forum are the two events under Fintech Challenge Vietnam (FCV) 2017-2018.

The final day of FCV is where 15 finalists presented solutions to address some challenges of financial inclusion in Viet Nam. These solutions are in 5 areas of fintech that SBV places focus on: e-payments, e-KYC, P2P Lending, Open APIs and Blockchain technology. Prior to the final round, 15 candidates joined and worked with Vietnamese commercial banks for six weeks to fine tune their solutions. Additionally, candidates received support from two Vietnamese startup programs; Vietnam Silicon Valley and VIISA.

The FCV board of judges, including Fintech experts from Viet Nam and the World, selected the 6 best startups to win the awards, including teams from Viet Nam, People’s Republic of China, and the United States.

Fintech Vietnam Forum 2018 was attended by Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Le Minh Hung, Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh, Country Director of the Asian Development Bank Eric Sidgwick and ‎First Secretary of Australian Mission to ASEAN Katherine Pohl. The event drew the attention of more than 300 delegates, representatives of diplomatic missions, international organizations and enterprises, national and international experts and Vietnamese fintech.

In his speech at the Forum, SBV governor Le Minh Hung emphasized the importance of fintech to Viet Nam's banking and financial system in the digital era. According to the Governor, partnerships between fintechs and banks can contribute to the goal of expanding financial inclusion, reducing poverty, promoting social equity and sustainable economic development.

Over the past years, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has been active in approaching issues and dialogues with businesses in the field of fintech to promptly remove bottlenecks and create conditions for these units to enter the market. Specifically, since 2008, the State Bank of Vietnam has researched and allowed many non-bank companies to provide payment services on a pilot basis to meet the development needs of the market. After establishing a relatively clear legal framework, SBV has issued official licenses to 27 payment service intermediaries.

Recognizing the importance of Fintech and its future development in Viet Nam, the Prime Minister approved Decision 844 / QD-TTg, dated 18 April 2016,  " Support for innovative national innovation ecosystems up to 2025." The SBV established the Fintech Steering Committee of SBV in March 2017, providing solutions to improve the system, creating favorable conditions for Fintech businesses in Viet Nam.

Many banks have cooperated with fintech businesses to provide one or several utilities and enrich the products and services for customers. This trend of cooperation has become increasingly evident in recent years through this mutually beneficial relationship. The cooperation between banks and fintech helps maintain and develop a modern banking and financial system with innovative financial products and services to meet the increasing expectations of customers. The development of fintech and the cooperation between fintech and the bank is considered a prerequisite for improving access to financial services and banking for users in Viet Nam.

The Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said the Fintech Steering Committee of the SBV has completed the Evaluation Report on the Fintech Ecosystem in Viet Nam, while addressing the 5 fintech verticals with a research focus. In addition, the SBV's Fintech Steering Committee has established direct dialogue channels with fintech companies, creating a close link between state management and fintech companies to remove difficulties and problems in operation.

With the objective of promoting innovation in financial and banking services and developing financial inclusion in Viet Nam, FCV was organized over the past six months with the participation of 141 Fintech companies (including 45 Vietnamese companies and 96 foreign companies) from 27 countries on 5 continents. This is the result of the great effort of the SBV Fintech Steering Committee and MBI program design focusing on 5 fintech verticals. The governor of SBV highly appreciated the idea of organizing the competition as the Steering Committee of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) will grasp more deeply the emerging technologies in the banking and finance sector. This is an opportunity for companies to present their innovative ideas to managers, as well as banks and investors.

According to SBV deputy governor Nguyen Kim Anh, Chairman of the State Bank of Vietnam's Fintech Steering Committee, the most important task the SBV needs to carry out is to continue to study and submit feedback to the Prime Minister and build a legal framework. The regulatory sandbox framework allows fintech startups to test innovative products and services for a certain period of time based on monitoring by the SBV. This experimental legal framework will provide the environment for fintech companies to test new products under strict supervision of management agencies; minimizing risks for customers as well as parties using the service.

"The Asian Development Bank is always ready to support the SBV on both objectives of encouraging the development of fintech as well as completing legal lobby. Viet Nam has special advantages, especially in the information technology industry, from which to base the development of fintech towards the goal of financial inclusion." -- Dominic Mellor, Senior Investment Officer, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The forum brings together leading experts from around the world, as well as representatives from regulatory authorities in several countries; sharing emerging trends in the field of financial technology. Breakthrough technology will be utilized in the financial and banking system in the coming decade and especially the state management measures applied to Fintech in some countries. This is a great opportunity to represent Viet Nam's management agencies, banks and fintech businesses to gain more useful information and knowledge for their operations.

FCV Final and the Fintech Vietnam Forum demonstrate the positive reception of innovations in the financial sector; on the basis of Viet Nam's technology aimed at expanding financial inclusion and improving the efficiency of financial services.

* The Steering Committee of Fintech of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV Steering Committee) was established in March 2017 to promote the development of the ecosystem, including the development of the framework to facilitate the development of financial technology in Viet Nam.
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* Creative Challenge with Financials Technology of Vietnam (FCV): FCV Final and Fintech Vietnam Forum are two events under the Fintech Challenge Vietnam (FCV) 2017-2018. Organizers of the program include the SBV, the Vietnam Bankers Association, MBI, a funded program by the Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government, and the Vietnam Finance Technology Club. FCV's partners include seven commercial banks including BIDV, Vietcombank, VietinBank, Shinhan Bank, TP Bank, VIB and VP Bank. FPT is technical partner with the participation of two start-up accelerators: Vietnam Silicon Valley and VIISA.

* The Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) - In 2015, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Australian Government launched the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI). This project is the catalyst for the development of the private sector in emerging markets in the Greater Mekong Subregion, concentrated in Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam. The purpose of this program is to improve the business-enabling environment in these four Southeast Asian markets with specific focus on supporting business diffusion, alternative financing and innovative innovation.

Four innovative accelerator programs have received support from the MBI, including Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism(MIST), Mekong Agricultural Technology Challenge (MATCh), SMART City Innovation Challenge and Creative Challenge and Fintech Challenge Vietnam (FCV). MBI is also the main organizer of the WISE Women’s Initiative for Startups and Entrepreneurship- a network of startups founded and led by women in the Greater Mekong subregion.

This project has received much support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Australian Government. Details on Facebook: MekongBusinessInitiative.

Huong Vu
Project Coordinator
+84 (0) 91516 3388


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