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5 top disruptive FinTech firms to watch out for in Vietnam in 2021

By Edil Corneille

February 11, 2021

  • Emonkey
  • Vietnam
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fintech, VayMuon, eMonkey, MoMo, Kilimo Finance, Interloan, payments, digital, blockchain

Vietnam is currently home to more than 130 FinTech startups that cater to numerous clients and cover a broad range of services such as digital payments, alternative finance, wealth management and blockchain, among others.

According to the International Trade Administration, Vietnam’s FinTech industry which emerged in 2008 only gained prominence in the year 2019. According to the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology of Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City (VNUHCMC-IBT), there were approximately 154 FinTech firms operating in Vietnam as of October 2019.

In the same year, Vietnam ranked second in ASEAN in terms of FinTech funding (36%), second only to Singapore (56%). The sharp increase in funding was attributed to two large deals going to payments companies VNPay (US$300 million) and MoMo (US$500 million), according to a joint report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), United Overseas Bank (UOB), and the Singapore FinTech Association.

With the Vietnamese government working on a number of regulatory guidelines, the year ahead seems to be an exciting one for the FinTech field. Here are a few companies to keep a close eye on this year.

eMonkey

Hanoi-based M-Pay developed eMonkey, a multi-functional e-wallet that aims to provide users with an intelligent non-cash payment method that can be accessed from their mobile phones and is easy and safe to use anywhere, anytime.

Through the eMonkey app, customers can check their transaction history, account balance and make payments for various services. Users can also send money to other eMonkey users free of charge and can gain discounts and promotional codes when buying online goods through the platform. In December 2019, Ant Financial acquired a significant stake in eMonkey, paving its way into the Vietnamese FinTech market, Reuters reported citing sources.

Interloan

Interloan is a technology solution that helps connect employees and businesses to aid each other’s finances. Interloan was created to meet the practical needs of workers in Vietnam.

The platform ensures organised advance salary activities for employees in companies through the high-tech online peer-to-peer lending platform. For businesses with a salary advance policy: The employee can advance the salary after the 15th of each month, with the advance amount not exceeding the number of days worked or time spent in the month.

Companies clearly understand the importance of salary advancement, however, most are afraid of implementation due to working capital difficulties, ineffective management processes, complicated accounting procedures.

Interloan aims to use peer-to-peer lending technology to systematise the payroll process at businesses for employees.

Kilimo Finance

Founded in early 2019, Kilimo Finance is Vietnam’s first agricultural FinTech startup. The company has created an online marketplace where farmers can buy farm inputs such as fertilisers, crop protection and equipment for favourable prices. Those farmers who want to order now and pay later can apply online for a credit card from one of the commercial banks in Vietnam.

On the business-to-business front, Kilimo Finance has developed high potential agri-loan products on a digital platform in combination with the Kilimo App. Kilimo Finance asserts that banks that choose to use its agri-finance solutions can enter the agricultural sector with loan products within 3 to 4 months.

MoMo

Momo is an e-wallet and payments app that allows users to make payments and transfer money digitally. The platform, licensed by the State Bank of Vietnam, allows users to make small cash-free transactions.

Through strategic cooperation with banks and financial institutions, MoMo acts as an extended arm to bring financial services and payments to Vietnamese people, especially in remote areas. Up to now, the company has made tens of millions of transactions for customers and the community keeps growing.

MoMo wallet has direct links with more than 25 banks. MoMo Wallet users can pay for all daily utilities.

What makes MoMo special is not just its ability to cater to young users in metropolitan areas, but people in rural regions of Vietnam as well. Its widespread network of transaction points facilitates payments from both cities and the countryside, where the use of smartphones may not be as prevalent.

VayMuon

VayMuon is one of Vietnam’s largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms. P2P platforms allow entities to obtain loans from people without first needing the financial services of a bank, thus cutting out the middleman.

Beginning in 2017 with 4 founders, VayMuon has grown to now employ 200 people across Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia. Since then the app has successfully connected 2 million borrowers with 400,000 unique lenders.

The company has been working towards popularising paperless and high-speed loan-application processing in Vietnam. They have also started to work with a large Vietnamese payment gateway Nganluong to enter into more FinTech niches, by spreading VayMuon’s reach into e-commerce, salary loan management and supply chain financing.

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