With its strong growth momentum, FE Credit has become one of the largest card issuers in the country in only two years after its inception.
Being the pioneer in innovation through its market-driven financial solutions, FE Credit continues with its mission to drive financial inclusion by bringing Vietnam's unbanked population to the organised financial system.
During its eight years of operations, FE Credit has prevailed as the leading player in offering the most comprehensive product suite and became one of the fastest growing finance companies in the region.
Credit cards have played a major role in FE Credit’s success story by creating an ongoing relationship with its valued customers. This product has emerged as the growth engine for FE Credit with the number of issued cards crossing one million in 2018, and expected to cross two million by the end of 2019.
Focus on customer experience
While delivering one-time financial solutions to customers’ urgent need for cash is important, keeping them engaged by providing value and convenience in their day-to-day life is imperative for FE Credit’s sustainable growth. Since inception, the company has been focused on creating unique solutions for first-time card users and category entrants.
The basic design principle applied was that all products need to be acutely relevant to the unique problems, and delivered to the customers in a “fast and easy” way, in line with the company’s brand promise.
In its journey to become one of the largest credit card issuers in Vietnam, FE Credit has successfully launched many innovative products and services along the way.
|FE Credit Card with tailor-made benefits for first time card users across everyday spend categories |
In 2017, with the launch of the FE Credit Plus+ Card, FE Credit became the first consumer finance company to launch a credit card with tailor-made benefits for first-time card users across everyday spend categories.
The key objective behind Plus+ Card was to enable the convenience of cashless transactions for a customer segment with low credit card penetration.
One of the popular features of the card is Selfie Plus+, a feature that allows customers to create their own special credit card with their favourite photograph, by simply uploading a picture from their smartphone.
Another unique feature is the Oi Plus+ Rewards programme wherein FE cardholders can earn 10X reward points for spending on transportation, grocery shopping, mobile recharges, utility bills, and ATM cash withdrawals.
Cardholders also receive 10X points on all transactions made through the FE Card mobile app, such as movie ticket booking and travel booking, among others.
With an easy-to-remember conversion rate of 1 Oi Plus+ Point = 1VND, the programme makes life simple and rewarding for customers.
|FE cardholders can earn 10X reward points for every spend through Oi Plus+ Rewards programme |
Cutting-edge, fintech-enabled process
Keeping digital solutions at the core, FE Credit has launched Vietnam’s first-ever digital Credit Card – the Mplus+ Card.
This first-of-its-kind digital solution has solved the peculiar card delivery challenge in Vietnam by allowing customers to commence their cashless journey even before the physical card gets delivered.
“Using digital solutions for customer convenience has become a part of FE Credit’s DNA,” according to FE Credit’s vice chairman and CEO Kalidas Ghose.
“Our team did not have any precedents to refer to, as this was the first digital card solution in Vietnam. While this was challenging, it also gave us the opportunity to think simple and remove all the complications from processes while designing the workflow.”
|FE CREDIT vice chairman and CEO Kalidas Ghose with “Best in Card Acquisition” Award from Mastercard |
Unlike other virtual cards in the market where the customer must generate a different card number every time, MPlus+ lets the customer use the same card number for any number of transactions with the highest standard of security.
With the instant delivery of the digital card MPlus+ to customers’ mobile phones, they can access cash immediately or start performing e-commerce transactions without having to wait for the delivery of a physical card.
|The FE Card mobile app is another example of the successful use of digital media for first-time card users. |
The FE Card mobile app is another example of the successful use of digital media for first-time card users. FE Credit rightly anticipated customer queries about product features, card usage, or repayment options and made accurate information available at customers’ fingertips anywhere, anytime in this app.
According to Nimish Dwivedi, director of the Credit Card Business Centre, the app distinguishes itself from other apps in the market because they are continuously adding new features and making it easier to use.
“Just last month, we added several new functionalities, including bill payments for electricity, water, and internet bills, mobile top ups, or travel ticket booking, all of which can be done with just a few clicks on the app. This puts the app on par with or better than the best-in-class mobile banking apps in Vietnam and the region,” he said.
Leveraging advanced analytics to increase value
During the process of enhancing customer experience in credit card transactions, FE Credit realised that most of the declined transactions were due to customers putting n invalid PIN or incorrect CVV codes, or the lack of awareness of their available credit limit.
The company decided to change its communication messages and make it more customer-friendly with simple instructions. This small change resulted in a 20 per cent reduction in declined transactions within one month.
“Since most of our customers are first-time card users, customer education through ‘easy to understand’ communication at the right touch-point at the right time is crucial,” said Tischendorf Hermann, FE Credit’s IT Division director, “Big Data is used for better data analysis and therefore better credit decisions for our customers. Advanced technologies also enable us to give quicker response to the customers, particularly those with whom the company has an existing relationship, with a customized offer based on behavioural analysis of the customers.”
According to the Vietnam Card Association, the domestic card market is considered vigorous, leveraging the country’s rising income, rapid economic growth, and improving legal system.
Vietnam’s credit card market is predicted to boom with expected growth in the 306,486 merchant outlets accepting card payments and the number of Vietnamese cardholders potentially growing by 10 times.
The company’s commitment
CEO Ghose, projecting forward to the end of 2019, said, “FE Creditis committed to make life easy and convenient for card users. In 2019,our entire focus will beto provide a versatile, robust, all-in-one mobile application that can help customers engage, get their service requests solved, and provide them a whole new level of convenience in just a few clicks and 24/7access.
“While enhancing customer convenience, we are also focused on transaction security using state of the art tools such as three-factor authentication and real-time fraud management systems.”
There are very few organisations that have created a card business from scratch in the last few years, driven a robust financial inclusion agenda focused on first-time card users and built a unique proposition that is non-conventional, innovative, and geared to attract new customers.
FE Credit has achieved all of this within the last two years.
“The biggest reward for us is to see our cardholders engage with our cards and make it an integral part of their day-to-day life,” said Ghose.
FE Credit has been recognised by noteworthy and respected national and international organisations for its high standards in innovation and fintech solutions in the consumer finance industry.
FE Credit recently won the Best in Acquisition Award at the Mastercard Vietnam Customer Forum 2019 and 2019 and previously received awards for Best Card Offering, Best Card Design, Best Technology Implementation, and Best New Product, Service or Innovation Launch at Cards and Electronic Payments International (CEPI) Asia Awards in 2017 and 2018.
FE Credit was also named Most Innovative Consumer Finance Brand in Asia 2018, Best Consumer Finance Company in Southeast Asia 2018, and Consumer Finance Product of the Year 2018 in Vietnam.
At the Singapore FinTech Festival 2018, one of the World’s largest fintech events, FE Credit was honoured to be the only Vietnamese financial services player to be showcased as one of the best fintech solutions.
FE Credit was also featured in the API Exchange, launched by the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for its innovative use of cutting-edge fintech solutions.