Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation has inked a deal to form a capital alliance with Smart Net Trading Service JSC with the purchase of shares valued at $9.36 million.
Founded in Vietnam in 2015, SmartNet offers payment solutions focusing mainly on micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises. SmartNet delivers brokerage services for loan products and other services like personal loans and Buy Now Pay Later. The company has collaborated closely with FE Credit.
The deal is part of SMBC's strategy to expand its Asia franchise and strengthen digital banking capabilities in the region. The strategy has been outlined in their medium-term management plan, which covers the three-year period beginning in the 2020 financial year.
SMBC is one of the active buyers in Vietnam's mergers and acquisitions market. In 2021, SMBC acquired a 49 per cent equity stake in VPBank SMBC Finance Company Limited (FE Credit), a leading consumer finance company in Vietnam.
In May 2022, SMBC entered into a business alliance agreement with Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank), the parent company of FE Credit.
With the proposed deal, SMBC hopes to fast-track its growth strategy in Asia by expanding the FE Credit business and assisting in the expansion of VPBank Group. SMBC Group aims to accomplish these objectives while supporting SmartNet.
Accordingly, SmartNet is trying to scale up its payment platform by expanding its customer base in Vietnam. The Vietnamese company aims to capitalise on the ample opportunities in the cashless payments market.
Vietnam has one of the highest rates of smartphone and internet adoption in the world and a rapidly expanding e-commerce industry. As a result, the country has seen accelerated growth on many digital fronts, including digital payments. The adoption rate for cashless transactions in Vietnam increased 95 per cent a year after the pandemic, one of the highest rates in Southeast Asia.
Data from market research company Statista indicated that the total transaction value in Vietnam's digital payments segment is projected to reach $20.54 billion in 2022. The total transaction value is expected to show an annual growth rate of 14.81 per cent, resulting in a projected total of $40.98 billion by 2027.
By Thanh Van