Case study

Electronic Banking Services for the Poor in Vietnam

An overview of electronic banking in Vietnam
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This paper examines the current situation of electronic banking services for the poor in Vietnam in terms of providers, infrastructure and legal framework.

The paper studies:

  • The shift in the economic structure of Vietnam from an agricultural to an industrialized one;
  • The growth of MFIs in the country and their categorization into formal, semi-formal and informal services;
  • The potential demand for electronic banking for the poor and the various types of electronic banking services available, such as internet services, e-commerce, telecommunications, etc.;
  • The role of various Vietnamese banks in providing electronic banking services.

The paper concludes that:

  • Vietnamese electronic banking services for the poor are in their infancy because the legal framework and regulations issued are:
    • Slow to recognize electronic signatures, online-contracts and electronic documents;
    • Fail to protect customer privacy.
  • The online banking services introduced:
    • Do not allow electronic fund transfers;
    • Only allow customers to check their balance, access information such as exchange rates, interest rates and consultative information useful for investment.
  • Other extensive and sophisticated services including account aggregation, mortgage related service, insurance management, financial auctions, online bill payments, share trading and mutual fund trading do not exist;
  • Customers of electronic services in the banks are mainly employees with relatively high and stable salaries from spearhead industries such as banks, post and telecommunications, information technology, insurance, building and construction etc.

About this Publication

By Cu Nhan, P.