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|Value of BIDV’s major support spending recognised|
With its recognition at the Vietnam Value Programme, BIDV has reaffirmed its prestige and brand position in the domestic financial market. Such honour is also the driving force for BIDV to continue its efforts in constantly improving the quality of products and services and bringing its competitiveness on par with major regional banks, thus contributing to the image of the Vietnamese banking industry in neighbouring and international markets.
The programme was established in 2003 to raise the image of Vietnam as a reputable country with a wide variety of high-quality goods and services, thereby enhancing its competitiveness in the international arena.
BIDV is currently the leading commercial bank in Vietnam with total assets as of the end of September reaching about VND1.4 quadrillion ($60.8 billion). At the same time, customer deposits accounted for over VND1.14 quadrillion ($49.5 billion) and loans for these for an equally high amount.
In the first nine months of the year, while promoting its special role of a state-owned enterprise, BIDV cooperated with enterprises and individuals to overcome the consequences of the pandemic, while ensuring stability for their life and business activities. According to preliminary calculations, BIDV plans to spend VND3.5-4.5 trillion ($152-195 million) on support for customers to overcome the damage the health crisis had been causing.
Meanwhile, the strong development of mobile payment services in Vietnam has stepped beyond smartphones, with BIDV’s SmartBanking apps now also available for Apple Watch and as integrated keyboard applications. According to the latest figures of the State Bank of Vietnam, despite the influence of COVID-19, payment activities in the first months of this year still recorded strong growth in both number and value of transactions, reflected in payments by cards, internet, and mobile phones.
Accordingly, the volume of payment transactions via mobile phones continued to surge to around 574.4 million processed transactions worth VND5.9 quadrillion ($256.5 million), up 184 per cent in volume and 186 per cent in value over the same period last year.
As one of the few pioneering banks to launch apps for smartwatches, BIDV showed agility and assertiveness in grasping this new consumer trend. With the current version for smartwatches, BIDV chose to start with the smartwatches from Apple – simply because these are the ones with most users worldwide.
According to a recent report by consumer product consultancy GfK Vietnam, the country was the second-largest consumer market for Apple products in Southeast Asia in the first months of 2020, surpassing Thailand and Malaysia. Backed by a continuously growing number of users, plus integrated eSIM services from Apple Watches, the BIDV SmartBanking app represents an impressive step ahead of rivals.
However, BIDV has not stopped at smartwatch applications and kept pace with the growing domestic e-commerce market. As such, the lender launched its BIDV SmartKeyboard app – a new version of SmartBanking that lets customers quickly and securely make financial transactions with families, friends, or business partners while active in any messaging app where the phone’s keyboard is used.
A survey by market researcher Macromill South East Asia, Inc. shows that Vietnamese spend about 2.12 hours per day on social networks such as Facebook, Zalo, YouTube, and Instagram. Moreover, social media is used more and more for online shopping for many daily items, with the average users shopping at least once via Facebook or Zalo.
As a pioneer in mobile payment development, BIDV took advantage of this trend and developed its apps not only for smartphones but also for their watch-like companion devices to allow customers to perform financial transactions with both systems running similar versions of BIDV’s popular SmartBanking app.
Though their core functionality is similar, the version on Apple Watch and the integrated keyboard application are both simplified, focusing on basic transactions and frequently-used procedures.
With the BIDV SmartBanking app installed, the verification of account users’ information, as well as security features, is always guaranteed, even if the bank’s applications are running on multiple platforms.
According to Backbase’s Fintech and Digital Banking 2025 Report Asia Pacific, Vietnam is one of the markets with the strongest growth in mobile payments in the next five years, with an expected increase of 400 per cent by 2025. The report also shows that a quarter of domestic banks plan to pursue modern digital platforms, with the top eight prioritising the modernisation of payment systems and the most crucial banking services.
A representative of Backbase said that Vietnamese banks are investing heavily in digital platforms to promote growth. But beyond this purpose, many are launching multiple versions of applications for different devices to offer all-in-one solutions that suit the needs of modern customers.
“Like in the case of BIDV, such approach shows the ability to grasp tech trends quickly and that lenders care about the smallest needs of their apps’ users, which is key to the success of banks and also contributes to creating a solid stepping stone to promote the development of non-cash payments in Vietnam,” the representative commented.