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Vietnamese banks face challenges in digital banking transformation

Challenges related to network security, customer trust and an inadequate legal framework are road blocks to the digital transformation of Vietnamese banks, experts told a conference in HCM City on Thursday.



According to Vietcombank, 94 per cent of banks in Viet Nam are investing in digitisation and 42 per cent of them consider digital baking a top priority. — Photo courtesy of HDBank


Speaking at Vietnam Banking Conference: Digital Banking, Le Anh Dung, deputy head of the State Bank of Viet Nam’s Payment Department, said, “In Viet Nam, security risks such as fraud, customer fraud, network attacks on bank infrastructure, and user data leakage are rising.”

According to Ernst & Young Vietnam, 8,319 cyber attacks occurred on banks last year and 560,000 computers were affected by malwares capable of stealing bank account information.

Banks faced losses of US$642 million caused by computer viruses, while only 52 per cent of customers worried about security while using online banking.

Nguyen Hung Nguyen, deputy general director of National Payment Services Vietnam (NAPAS), said, “[The lack of] customer trust is also an obstacle in digital banking.”

He said 90 per cent of payments for e-commerce transactions are done through cash-on-delivery because customers do not trust sellers and deliverers.

Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, director of Vietcombank’s e-banking services development department in HCM City, agreed with Nguyen about the preponderance of cash.

“Vietnamese have kept the habit of using cash for a long time. The habit of buying online is gradually forming but the common payment form is still COD.”

According to Vietcombank, 94 per cent of banks in Viet Nam are investing in digitisation and 42 per cent of them consider digital baking a top priority.

Around 30 per cent of the country’s population have a bank account and 70 per cent have smart phones connected to the internet. However, only 20 per cent of customers make online transactions.

Experts at the conference also focused on the lack of regulations governing digital services.

Hang said, “There is no legal framework for data sharing, storage and exploitation.”

Nguyen said the Government should create a framework for a regulatory sandbox for applying new digital technologies.

He also called for drafting regulations for fintech to serve underbanked customers.

As for the legal framework, Dung said the Government should instruct relevant ministries and departments to create a national database on the population and allow opening, sharing and connecting with services such as banking, telecommunications and insurance.

The Government should create a legal framework for user data security and information security to create a safe and reliable digital transaction system, he added. — VNS


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