Interviewed By The Asian Banker Live
BIDV, Techcombank, TNEX, TPBank, Vietcombank, VietinBank, VPBank and VPBank NEO were recognised for their exceptional performance in retail and digital banking despite a challenging year at The Asian Banker Vietnam Awards 2022.
BIDV was recognised for achieving strong financial performance in 2021 with a double-digit revenue growth. The bank’s retail business contributed to almost half of its total income. The bank has secured its leading market position and increased its market shares in retail loans and deposits. It saw significant improvements in return on equity and cost-to-income ratio. BIDV recorded $1.03 billion (VND 23.5 trillion) in retail revenue, up 19% year-on-year (YoY). BIDV SmartBanking increased transaction volume by 84% YOY and transaction sales by 226%. The bank saw a strong improvement in its retail return on equity (ROE), cost to income ratio (CIR), and market share in retail assets and products.
Techcombank was recognised for its successful corporate payment implementation project that enables real-time and secured completion of low or high-value transactions. The bank posted a 44% growth YoY in payment transaction volume.
Vietcombank was lauded for providing an integrated and unified platform and easy access to complete fundamental tasks via digital channels. Its mobile banking customer base increased by 50% and its digital platform posted a 50% growth in transaction volume.
TPBank was awarded for leveraging electronic know your customer (eKYC) process on internet banking channel for fast and instant registration, smart automatic switchboard for instant fund transfer, artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot for customer support, and a widespread network of self-service kiosks. The bank saw a 40% growth in new customer acquisition and a 120% increase in transaction volume via digital channels.
TNEX was recognised for exploiting inefficiencies and consumer gaps in its market. It provided a compelling set of services and products that stick to customers. It recorded 500,000 mobile banking retail and 15,000 SME customer sign-ups on its app in just one year after the launch.
Vietnam banks and their respective awards:
BIDV is Best Retail Bank in Vietnam.
VietinBank receives Best SME Bank, Best Open Banking/API Initiative/Application awards.
Techcombank wins Best Corporate Payment Implementation, Most Recommended Retail Bank awards.
Vietcombank gets Best Digital Banking Service, Most Helpful Bank during COVID-19 and Most Selected Main Retail Bank awards.
TPBank was recognised for Best Digital Banking and Customer Ecosystem Initiative.
TNEX is Best Digital-only Bank.
VPBank was recognised for Best Digital Business Model Initiative/Application.
VPBank NEO wins Best Mobile Banking App.
Here is the edited transcript:
Foo Boon Ping (FBP): Xin Chao. Good evening everyone. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Vietnam Awards 2022. I'm very happy to see all of you virtually and happy to be co-hosting this virtual award ceremony together with Richard, for this virtual awards. We are very happy to see all our guests join us via Zoom. We are into the third year of living with COVID-19, and we hope we are continuing to keep safe as we turn the corner on the pandemic. The situation worldwide appears to have improved considerably, especially in the West, in Europe and the US where most restrictions have been lifted and borders are open, as vaccination rates have increased.
Just now, this morning in Singapore, there's an announcement that we are opening up but still cautiously. In Asia, we seemed to be dealing with what seems to be a highly infectious but less deadly strain of the virus. We've been comparatively more cautious and conservative in our approach, restriction and models are taking more time to come down.
Nonetheless, Vietnam is one of the highest vaccinated countries in the world with over 200 million doses of the vaccine already administered to date, and almost 300,000 doses administered on a daily basis. More than enough to completely vaccinate every one of your 97 million people. So, we look forward to the day when we would have seen the back of the pandemic. The leaders and people in Vietnam have responded exceptionally well to the outbreak which have allowed your economy, the lives and livelihood of your people to get back to normal as much as possible. This new normal has become increasingly digital as the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital activities and transactions.
The fintech sector has been growing rapidly, and last year saw total transaction value grow more than 60% to over $18 billion, and this is expected to continue beyond 2025. Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, now financial services industry in Vietnam continues to be resilient, strong and accelerating its digital transformation. We have received over 26 submissions from more than 15 banks and non-bank retail financial services players vying for over 12 awards from different categories across retail financial services and financial technology.
This evening, we'll be presenting 12 awards to six of the institutions. Since 2020, The Asian Banker has invested in our own digital platform called BankQuality.com to survey customers on their engagement experience and engagement with their main retail banks in Vietnam, and how you as the main bank have helped them during the pandemic.
We incorporate this customer-derived net promoter score that we called the BankQuality Score into the winner evaluation and selection. Award winners can be assured that the results and rankings are true reflections of the voice of the customers. I'd like to congratulate all winners. Each year becomes harder. Richard will show you during the briefing that the competition heats up, as there are more digital initiatives. You've all been very aggressive in pursuing your own digital reinvention agenda. With a growing focus on digital services, the industry has already started the process to rethink the pace and the effect of digitalisation and its impact on business, commerce, trade, supply chain and then of the world. We always heard or we have heard many times to the cost of today, ecosystems. Beyond Vietnam, economies worldwide are pursuing a wider and more diverse range of policies towards digitalisation, sustainable development, as well as integration, cooperation and collaboration with each other and no less in the financial services. This system will accelerate its digital transformation and adoption of all things online and remote.
The Asian Banker will continue to track, evaluate and calibrate financial institutions that are on their own journey to transform themselves into more competitive and sustainable digital players. Before the award ceremony, we held a number of insightful virtual leadership dialogues and panel discussions to explore the challenges that leaders face in achieving sustainable growth, post-pandemic and how to compete amidst the current wave of uncertainties. We’ve got into specific areas in how banks are deploying technology, but also transforming themselves from a culture organisation perspective and processes as well. Looking at the changes that application programming interfaces (APIs), the opportunities that they afford, the use of cloud to scale their business, and increase agility.
If you have just tuned in, please visit our RadioFinance website and our Facebook page to view the recording of those sessions if you miss any part of it. I’d like to thank all our moderators, including Richard, as well as all our speakers and panellists. You've done a wonderful job in keeping the industry, not just in Vietnam, but outside of Vietnam, you have tuned in, up to date on where you are in moving the industry on this journey of digital transformation. There's so much to learn from the industry in Vietnam, as well.
Now I'm happy to introduce Richard. We've rebranded, we are called a long time ago, TAB International, now, we are TAB Global. Richard is our TAB Global resource director, whom many of you know. Before COVID, he was quite a regular visitor to Vietnam, in his extensive experience in payments and consumer financial services in the region. He'll be sharing with us all the key findings from this year's awards programme, and TAB putting this whole event with the conference before, it is a very important part of our awards programme. It is not just giving out awards, it is sharing the learnings from the awards programme with the industry. This community element part of the awards programme is perhaps the most valuable, in addition to the recognition that each of the winners get. We want to stress that part. But without further ado, I'd like Richard to share with us this year's key findings.
Richard Hartung (RH): Right, thank you very much. It’s good to see you today and good to see all the innovation that's happening in Vietnam. We're going to take a look at some of the insights that we got from talking with banks in Vietnam and fintech companies and other financial services providers based on the awards programme, and based on the broader research that we do in the market and in the region.
If we look at what banks are prioritising in the awards, in many ways, it's what you would expect- that it is that digital transformation with digital banking, with mobile coming in and looking at how we make it more convenient for the customer. As we've heard earlier, open APIs are a big part of it, which leads into the ecosystem and broadening out the range of services that financial institutions can provide. One thing we've seen in Vietnam, or more recently, and some of the edge in other markets like Thailand and Malaysia is growth in the focus on small and medium sized- enterprises (SMEs) and the corporate banking services as well that come in through retail banking. So very much focused on the SME network, which links into wealth and retail banking services. Those are the key trends that we're seeing, as banks look at growing.
The revenues are projected to grow, they've been growing a little bit more slowly than they were in the past, but continue to grow in the industry, which is really good news and challenging times. We're forecasting continued growth in 2022 as well, within the retail financial services industry.
A lot of that growth comes from retail lending, because retail lending remains the driver for bank performance, especially as the economic fundamentals improve as Boon Ping mentioned, pandemic effects are beginning to moderate which is good, consumers are beginning to return to their usual lives. Even amidst the challenges, the retail lending revenue and volumes have been continuing to grow. We look at that continuing as well.
What we see is the personalised customer experience, the digital capabilities and some special services of the banks provided as Boon Ping mentioned, we've got the BankQuality score that is based on input directly from customers. We looked at the Most Recommended Bank, which is Techcombank, Most Helpful Bank during COVID, especially Vietcombank. A lot of it is coming from the banks looking at it and saying what do customers actually need? How can we help them in this very difficult time? Some of the payment moratoriums and fee waivers that were put in place have helped out tremendously.
As we move forward, as we just heard. in each of the panel discussions, customer experience is at the forefront, digital capabilities are at the forefront and we expect that to continue and become even more important as we move forward and gradually out of the pandemic.
The rankings that we found looked at the BIDV coming in as the top rank bank through the scoring that we do. All the financial institutions here that applied for awards saw the scorecard and how we do that. We can look at the numbers, but what is important for each one of you, who's here is to look at this and say, ‘what can I learn from my competitors’. If we're looking at the corporate side, BIDV was number one, and the risk side did very well as well. But if we want to look at financials, MB Bank was a better performer than what we were looking at. In the digital journey, Vietcombank has done extremely well and came in with the highest ranking. In technology, TP Bank did extremely well. As I look at it, it's not just the numbers in here, it's what financial institution that can I focus on to learn from TAB as evaluated and said, that's really the better performer in the country. You can take that away and pick up insights from what the others are doing.
We have several case studies. We're just looking at these and said, yes, we've talked to the financial institutions. We like all the banks in Vietnam, all the financial institutions, in Vietnam. We picked out a couple just because they're good examples of what's being done to make life easier for customers or to provide a better customer experience. With VP Bank, there's been really a focus on consumer behaviour and making it easier for customers. VP Bank has used APIs and microservices, it offered a multitude of e-wallets, integrations, electronic know your customer (eKYC) has made it much easier for customers to open up accounts or to be onboarded. There's a faster, better experience. There are services like smart notifications that give customers instant information or very quick information that helps them out and makes their life significantly easier.
That's an example of what customers have done. Vietcombank has come in with some excellent services as well. What it's focused on in many ways, is looking at how do we tailor our services, especially to the customers. It's a lot of simplification. I've seen financial institutions with 30 or 40 different products, and it confuses the customers. For account packages that give customers what they need, and make it’s relatively easier for the customer to understand. Their incentives and fee support programmes have been offered over the past several years. What happened is that the number of transactions, and volumes have increased, and customers have been helped during a very difficult time. It's the customer support function that focuses on the customer.
With VietinBank, what we've looked at on this is that there's the integration, again with APIs and the different applications, giving customers greater control and access, making sure that there is security in place for authentication, but the ecosystem that we talked about earlier is becoming more important. There are 20 services on internet banking, 100 partners via the open APIs and growing numbers there so that customers have access to a wider range of services securely through the ecosystems of partnerships. That's a trend that we're seeing at many other financial institutions as well. That VietinBank has done especially well.
If we bring these altogether and say what is the future of retail banking in Vietnam, there are several areas that our panellists have touched on that we figure are especially important. The deep personalisation, customers have that in the rest of their lives with recommendations for e-commerce with streaming, movies, everything else and is delivering that deep personalisation digitally using artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics. The transaction flows are going to continue, revenue will recover and looking at how do we optimise that revenue and still provide excellent service to our customers. The collaboration with the different platforms and partners, leveraging APIs, and open banking is only going to continue to grow, and that leads to a scalable banking infrastructure. We talked about cloud earlier, and is making sure it is scalable, because we expect tremendous growth within Vietnam, and behind all this data and applied analytics, artificial intelligence is key to delivering that personalised experience, building the ecosystem and making sure that you deliver what your customers need. Thank you very much.
Hai Van (HV): Ladies and gentlemen, The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services and Technology Innovation is the most rigorous, prestigious and transparent awards programme for consumer financial services in Vietnam.
We would now like to begin today’s Recognition Ceremony with the first award: The Best Digital Banking and Customer Ecosystem Initiative.
The best digital customer ecosystem provides customer-centric products and services that embed the bank’s offerings into the customers’ lifestyles.
The winning bank leveraged eKYC process on internet banking channel for fast and instant registration, smart automatic switchboard for instant fund transfer, artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot for customer support, and a widespread network of self-service kiosks. The bank provides 20 services on eBank platform, connecting to over 100 partners across financial and non-financial industries. The bank saw a 40% growth in new customers acquisition and a 120% increase in transaction volume via digital channels. The Best Digital Banking and Customer Ecosystem Initiative goes to TP Bank.
I would like to request Dinh Van Chien, deputy CEO and head of retail of TP Bank, to please hold the award for a photo. Thank you.
Dinh Van Chien (DVC): Thank you. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of TP Bank, I would like to thank you, The Asian Banker and the judges for the recognition of our achievement. I squared along the journey that we are in with customer, The name of the award is quite long. It can say that the Best Retail Banking and then customer ecosystem in the city. But it's very comprehensive to cover what we have been trying to do to offer to our customers, especially in customer ecosystem. Because this reflects the way we look at the customer, but also the way we are working with other partner, the banking partner and the other player in the financial services in Vietnam. So a preset for that, thank you very much for that. This is a motivation for us to continue and then work to achieve higher results in terms of the best journey to serve our customers. Thank you very much and congratulation to all the banks here who receive awards this evening. Thank you.
HV: Congratulations, Dinh Van Chien.
The next award is Best Corporate Payment Implementation in Vietnam. A successful corporate payment implementation project is one that enables real-time, secured completion of low or high-value transactions. It supports end-to-end supply chain and has high straight-through processing (STP) and exceptions processing capabilities. It supports multiple business goals, accounts and currencies, regardless of messaging formats. It utilises multiple channels or devices at the lowest possible cost per transaction, has minimum error rates and manages regulatory compliance. The implementation process starts with a clear business case, it balances the risks involved, considers a variety of alternative approaches and delivers the project within the given time and budget.
The winning bank developed an intuitive payment integration project to improve payment, collection, and reconciliation services. The bank posted a 44% growth year on year (YoY) in payment transaction volume while transaction value increased by 79% YoY, through its payment implementation initiative. The Best Corporate Payment Implementation in Vietnam goes to Techcombank.
I would like to request Bui Anh Tuan, director, products and solutions channel and partnership platform integration, global transaction services division of Techcombank, to please hold the award for a photo.
Bui Anh Tuan: Hello, thank you. This is a great recognition for us. I think every day at Techcombank, we're trying to change banking, change lives, not just for retail customers but for our corporate customers. This is a great appreciation and recognition for us which our team is very thankful. Thank you.
HV: Thank you so much. Moving on to the next award which is Best Digital Banking Service in Vietnam. The best digital banking service provides an integrated and unified platform and easy access to complete fundamental tasks via digital channels. It provides a seamless, innovative and simplified user experience to customers, while ensuring a high level of security and reliability. It also creates a functioning ecosystem that gives an unparalleled advantage in acquisition and usage.
The winning bank focused on delivering a seamless customer experience with several initiatives. It leveraged banking processes such as eKYC, new QR payment function, digitised card products, and simplified lending application. The bank launched initiatives to reduce transaction costs, and ease the financial difficulties of customers affected by the pandemic. The bank posted a double-digit retail revenue growth. Its mobile banking customer base increased by 50% and the digital platform posted a 50% growth in transaction volume. The Best Digital Banking Service in Vietnam is Vietcombank.
I would like to invite Hang Thi Lien Tran, deputy director of the digital channel and partnership department of Vietcombank, to please hold the award for a photo.
Hang Tie Lien Tran (HTLT): Vietcombank is happy to receive the Best Digital Banking Service in Vietnam. We are grateful for being recognised. Thank you.
HV: The next award is Most Recommended Retail Bank in Vietnam. Most Recommended Retail Bank in Vietnam. The Most Recommended Retail Bank is based on the BankQuality Score derived from the survey, which gathered feedback from consumers on their engagement, experience, and satisfaction with their main retail banks.
The winning bank garnered the highest net promoter-based BankQuality Score of 101.34 in Vietnam. The bank strengthened its customer-centricity solutions and digital transformation journey to provide personalised customer experience in the past year. The Most Recommended Retail Bank in Vietnam is Techcombank. I would like to request Kanishk Upadhyay, head of payment, card and unsecured lending of Techcombank, to please hold the award for a photo.
Kanishk Upadhyay (KU): Thank you. It’s an honour for us to win this award, and a big affirmation of our strategy, being on the right track and getting our mission to be the leading digital transformation bank while we change banking and change lives. But most of all, thank you to the customers and people of Vietnam, who've pressed that button and voted us the Most Recommended Bank in Vietnam. This is as much as their victory as it ours. Thank you.
HV: Thank you and congratulations again Kanishk Upadhyay of Techcombank
The next award is Most Helpful Bank during COVID-19 in Vietnam and Most Selected Main Retail Bank in Vietnam. The Most Helpful Bank during COVID-19 is based on the BankQuality Score derived from the consumers’ feedback on their assessment, experience, and satisfaction with their main retail banks’ response during COVID-19.
The Most Selected Main Retail Bank is based on the highest percentage of BankQuality survey of respondents who indicated the selected bank as their main retail bank.
The winning bank received the highest consumer rating in Vietnam for its COVID-19 response with its net promoter-based BankQuality Score (BQS) of 101.06. The bank launched several initiatives to ease the financial difficulties of its customers such as reduced transaction costs, provided incentives and support programmes across transaction channels. It implemented a fee exemption and reduction policy. As a result, it recorded nearly 300 million transactions for exemption and reduction applications amounting to over $10 million. The Most Helpful Bank during COVID-19 in Vietnam and Most Selected Main Retail Bank in Vietnam is VietcomBank.
I’d like to request Nhung Kim Dau, director of the retail marketing department of Vietcombank, to please hold the award for a photo. Thank you.
Nhung Kim Dau (NKD): Good afternoon everybody. It’s very nice to see you all today. On behalf of Vietcombank, I would like to express my sincere thanks to TAB for highly appreciating Vietcombank by granting us a very meaningful award, Most Helpful Bank during COVID-19 in Vietnam. In the coming years, we definitely will continue to do our best to help customers as well as the community and we would like to spread this spirit to the other financial and banking institutions in particular, to our own businesses, and the society in general, Thank you. our dear customers again for choosing Vietcombank.
HV: Best Digital-Only Bank in Vietnam. The best digital-only bank is able to exploit inefficiencies and consumer gaps in its market and provides a compelling set of services and products that stick to customers. It can immediately scale and demonstrate a path to profitability driven by reasonable customer growth. It focuses on the two sides of the balance sheet such as strong net-interest income business supported by innovative credit underwriting with alternative data sets. It creates a functioning ecosystem that gives an unparalleled advantage in acquisition and usage.
The winning digital-only bank is connected with various industry players and ecosystems to provide seamless and secured transactions and services. It promoted financial inclusive initiatives with zero-transaction fees for both retail and SME customers. It recorded 500,000 mobile banking retail and 15,000 SME customer sign-ups on its app in just one year after the launch. The Best Digital-only Bank in Vietnam is TNEX.
Bryan Carroll (BC): Thank you to TAB for their continued work in the industry. It's really appreciated by all of us. Thank you very much for this award. It's a huge honour for us. We’re only a baby bank and to sit with the likes of Techcom and all of the other bigger banks inside, obviously, it's a long journey ahead of us. I just finally like to finish up and say thank you to our customers, but most importantly, thank you to the team because at the end of the day, it's teams that make dreams, not CEOs normally. Thank you very much.
HV: Thank you so much and congratulations again to Bryan Carroll of TNEX Bank.
The last award is the Best Retail Bank in Vietnam. A well-run retail bank is one that demonstrates a long-term, sustainable, profitable franchise with customers as its core proposition.
The winning bank achieved strong financial performance in 2021 with a double-digit revenue growth. The bank’s retail business contributed to almost half of the total income. It has secured its leading market position and increased its market shares in retail loans and deposits. The bank saw significant improvements in its return on equity (ROE) and cost-to-income ratio (CIR). The bank leveraged its digital capabilities to boost customer experience and financials. The bank’s digital platform posted an 84% growth in transaction volume while transaction sales grew by 226% YoY. The Best Retail Bank in Vietnam is BIDV.
Congratulations BIDV. I would like to request Nguyen Thi Quynh Giao, senior vice president, head of retail of BIDV Bank, to please hold the award for a photo.
Nguyen Thi Quynh Giao (NTQG): A very good afternoon to TAB’s Advisory Council, to my fellow banking colleagues, and valued guests. Today, I'm so honoured to speak with you all and even more so to be the representative of BIDV to receive The Asian Banker’s Best Retail Bank in Vietnam award. I would like to say thank you and express my sincere gratitude to valued customers and partners, The Asian Banker for standing with us and accompanying us throughout the years, and for recognising BIDV’s efforts, as we all navigate through the challenging year, 2021.
To my team at BIDV, I am beyond proud of our continuous and sustained efforts. Together, we managed to overcome a year of crisis and difficulties. We have all given our best efforts to bring higher values, better experience for customers and continue to carry out the mission of making BIDV the best retail bank in Vietnam. We have a very huge digital transformation strategy during those years. The best retail banking award is the recognition which our team deserve, but it is also a motivation for us to keep pushing towards further achievement and result in the years to come. On behalf of BIDV. I once again would like to thank you for this incredible honour and to promise that we will continue the comprehensive innovation and customer service found in the most elite retail bank. Thank you.
HV: Now I would like to request our guests to please turn on the camera and hold the trophy for a group photo
Thank you so much. Ladies and gentlemen. Now we have come to the end of The Asian Banker Vietnam Awards 2022. I would like to invite Foo Boon Ping, president and managing editor of TAB and Richard Hartung advisor, Excellence in Retail Finance Awards Programme for the closing remarks.
FBP: On behalf of all the advisors and advisory council of the Vietnam Awards and The Asian Banker Awards Programme, congratulations to all the winners of the Vietnam Awards. Today, is a culmination of some extensive research, from our research team done over the last three months of interviews with each one of your institutions. From our conversation with you, we can see the commitment that you have to your transformation strategy.
Today, we've talked a lot about the things that are important to you in meeting your customer needs, your own institutional objective to embark on new business model, new technology to change how you operate in order to be a better institution. I want to commend all the institutions for not just your commitment, but for your passion and your energy. In some of the conversations that we have with some of you, for example, you've been very consistently tracking your performance, the benchmark that we share in the briefing that Richard used. Every year, you are looking at each of the indicators and asking us as well, in which areas you perform well, and which you need to improve in. Throughout the years that we have run the Vietnam Awards Programme, we've been able to share those with the institution. We've been heartened to see how you have journeyed along, as you make those improvements, those incremental improvements as you go. We look forward to more of this engagement in the future, as we mentioned, it's so exciting, what's happening in Vietnam, the great vision that you have towards 2030, towards 2045. There are so much opportunity to grow so much that we can look forward for the industry to provide to the consumers. Again, congratulations to all the institutions, for your effort,and commitment to your customers, as well as to your organisation to all the employees that you have, in how you have invested in training, organisational change, organisation or cultural change, that is required. This is not just a technology journey. This is a whole organisational change journey.
RH: Thank you very much. The advisors have the role of working through the applications and Foo has given us plenty to take a look at. There's been lots of research that's gone into this. We had quite a bit and what really stood out is just the impressive progress that's been made, even amidst difficult times over the past year, the continuing technological development and innovation and the building of the ecosystem that makes it easier for customers and the experience significantly better. Each of you has done a fantastic job and congratulations. Thank you.
FBP: Thank you. Congratulations everyone.