Vietnamese bank rushes for digitalised products and services for import - export companies

May 31, 2021 | 16:41
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Several banks are exploring digital ways to simplify the hefty paperwork that comes with international trade to enhance operational efficiency and support export-import companies. Military Bank (MB) - one of Vietnam's largest commercial banks - is also accelerating its strength to bridge the gap between local enterprises and international markets and drive long-term resilience.  
vietnamese bank rushes for digitalised products and services for import export companies
BIZ MBBank allows customers to sell foreign currency automatically

Founded in 2014, Ant Group’s origins begin with digital payment service Alipay. As of now, based on a strong technological foundation, Ant Group has expanded into many other financial services and even erodes the profits of Chinese traditional financial institutions.

A contender to one of the major banks now, Ant Group’s roots reach back to digital payment service provider Alipay. Since then, utilising its strong technological foundation, Ant Group has expanded into many other financial services and even erodes the profits of Chinese traditional financial institutions.

Ant CEO Eric Jing said in 2017 that Ant Group named itself after a small insect because it serves “the little guys”. However, the next few years showed that with digital transformation as the catalyst, “ants” can beat “elephants”, according to Business Insider.

In Vietnam, as fintech companies receive initial success, traditional banks are accelerating the digital transformation by developing new products and services. Several years ago, e-banking systems were mostly for account inquiries and domestic fund transfers. However, now, more robust products and services have been launched online to support tax payment, bill payments, as well as payroll and terms deposit management. Notably, even corporations can now open a bank account without visiting any physical branch.

That being said, the number of digital products and services for export-import activities remains limited. Realising this gap, some commercial banks have pioneered new features such as international payment and trade finance on online channels to enhance customer experience. Military Bank (MB) is one of the outstanding players in this competition.

The online international payment feature on BIZ MBBank, which was officially launched in July 2020, received a warm welcome from customers. The feature meets a variety of customers’ demands related to international payment, including making transfers, buying foreign currency, creating amendment/tracing/cancellation, submitting required documents, and making transfer inquiries.

Customers can conduct these activities online without spending time at brick-and-mortar counters. In addition, MB is one of the four banks in Vietnam to apply the SWIFT gpi initiative, which helps speed up transactions. Courtesy of SWIFT gpi, customers are allowed to benefit from real-time transaction tracing without additional costs.

Compared to conducting international transfers at counters, the process is significantly less time-consuming via BIZ MBBank, courtesy of automation. Customers can also save time and costs on paperwork and transportation. Those choosing to make transactions with MB can access favourable exchange rates without any conditions.

Being one of the very first companies to use online international payments on BIZ MBBank since the first days, Epi Viet Nam Technologies Co., Ltd. highly appreciates the experience BIZ MBBank has offered their customers.

“Both the bank and corporates are able to benefit from online international payment. It helps eliminate duplicated steps, enhancing efficiency and speeding up the overall processing time," said Nguyen Thi Thuong, finance director at Epi Viet Nam.

“It used to take us hours to process paperwork and get the SWIFT messages. Since the launch of international payment on BIZ MBBank, the entire processing time has been reduced to less than an hour," she added. “This particularly comes in handy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Furthermore, to enhance customer experience, BIZ MBBank allows customers to sell foreign currency automatically. The process is 100 per cent automatic, enabling customers to exchange foreign currencies into Vietnam Dong as soon as they approve the transactions. MB is also planning to launch a new feature called “chat box” to provide customers with tailored and unique experiences.

MB has been known for its transformative initiatives in offering international payment – trade finance products in the market. In December 2020, MB successfully executed the complete life cycle of two blockchain-enabled import letters of credit (LCs) over the CONTOUR network. With these pioneering actions, MB is constantly affirming its position in the digital transformation race, especially in developing products for corporates and those conducting export-import activities.

By Luu Huong

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