A Swiss-funded project, backed by a $5 million grant, aims to enhance Vietnam's fintech and digital banking sectors.
In a significant stride towards advancing fintech and digital banking in Vietnam, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) initiated a crucial technical assistance project on October 25.
The endeavour, endowed with a $5 million grant from the Swiss Government, is set to revitalise the nation's fintech and digital banking arena.
This funding is complemented by an additional contribution of $2 million from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, focusing on enhancing climate-focused and inclusive finance within the country.
According to the ADB, the financial barriers in Vietnam extend beyond individuals, impacting predominantly micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Those that are women-owned are even more adversely affected, facing an estimated financial shortfall of $1.2 billion.
"This project plays a pivotal role in augmenting financial access for MSMEs, particularly businesses led by women," a spokesperson from the ADB commented.
The initiative will support the SBV in developing and implementing a legal framework to fortify the digital finance sector, ensuring safe market operations and robust ecosystem development.
Deputy governor of the SBV Pham Tien Dung expressed his high regard for the technical support, deeming it, "Invaluable in fostering an enabling environment for fintech development, thereby enhancing the quality and diversity of financial products and services to both the populace and the nation's enterprises. This will contribute greatly to the national agenda on comprehensive finance."
This assistance is also deemed pivotal in driving green growth through the development and contribution of green banking and green credit.
Shantanu Chakraborty, ADB's country director for Vietnam, emphasised the transformative potential of fintech in the country.
"In Vietnam, fintech is key to driving convenient and innovative financial solutions and services, reaching under-banked or unbanked segments including MSMEs, while also enhancing efficiency and financial security. We're thrilled to further stimulate digital banking transformation in a rapidly evolving market like Vietnam," Chakraborty stated.
The project aims to offer fintech training opportunities and best practices in green banking to SBV staff, targeting a 25 per cent female participation. It also provides advisory services to women-owned MSMEs when preparing green loan applications.
Furthermore, it seeks to build the capacity of relevant government bodies and members of banking and fintech associations, while also supporting selected commercial banks in developing their digital banking services.
Dominique Paravicini, State Secretary of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, highlighted the comprehensive support of Switzerland in bolstering Vietnam's financial sector.
"By strengthening Vietnam's fintech industry and driving the digitalisation of the banking sector, the programme opens new opportunities for MSMEs to improve their access to financial resources," Paravicini asserted.
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