Digital transformation is a “spearhead” to promote the growth of all economic sectors in modern times. Unprecedented transformations such as the Covid-19 pandemic have forced the financial industries to renew their legacy systems. Military Bank (MB) is one of the pioneers in this wave.
In this episode of Vietnam Innovators (Vietnamese), Vu Thanh Trung — Member of the Executive Board and Head of Digital Banking at MB — shared more about the transformation process for the banking industry as well as MB.
Breaking away from the traditional banking system
As the leader of the digital transformation process at MB, Trung believes that the key to success lies in the courage when deciding to master the core system of the entire banking system.
Vietnam’s banking industry has had several milestones over the decades, such as the expansion of services to rural areas in 2008, or the crisis period in 2011-2012. Under the direction of the government, banks started to consolidate their foundations, to provide a variety of services as well as improve the user experience.
In 2017, MB was the first bank to establish a digital banking department with a different products and services system, separate from the traditional banking department.
Through this, customers can now actively use online banking services and mobile banking applications. The bank staff are equipped with new tools to adapt to the new way of consulting and taking care of customers. As Trung affirmed, the human factor has always been and will always be a solid foundation of the financial industry.
The transformation also includes many small projects, serving customers’ needs from large to small scales. Trung acknowledged that along with the bank’s operation, the whole digital transformation process will take time. In the first phase, MB focused on mastering core technology with a team of technology engineers, who helped unify the adjustment, upgrade, and maintenance processes.
While it was a challenge at first, results showed that the change has enabled MB to unlock the potential of the digital banking department.
The growth of e-commerce industry
With e-commerce platforms rising, banks have to face the challenge of processing about 12,000 transactions per second. Moreover, the transactions also need to be completed as soon as the customer clicks the “payment” button. This used to be an impossible requirement for the financial industry, which had always relied on a legacy system of over a hundred years.
Besides the core system, MB’s sub-platforms also need to be digitally converted to be compatible with the host system, for the customer experience to be consistent. One of their achievements is the success in bringing the whole process of registering and purchasing an account online. The bank even offers free customized account numbers containing four aces, or suitable for feng shui, containing date of birth, or phone number.
Another feature that MB is paying attention to is payment via Viet QR code. In China, people can pay for a cup of tea or a slice of cake with a QR code. This solution will replace cash payment, save merchants time by reducing the process of receiving-returning money, even limit close contact and optimize payment time compared to using cards and cash. This feature was jointly developed by MB and Napas in April 2021, promising to change the shopping habits of Vietnamese people.
Trung also shared about MB’s product development orientation towards socio-economic benefits. Recently, when the issue of transparency in charity work sparked a wave of discontent in the society, the banking industry realized that it was necessary to take action to preserve the spirit of “the intact leaves protect the tattered ones” of Vietnamese people.
After two months of development, MB has launched a 4-digit account type for the individuals or organizations who do charity work. The benefactors who donate to these accounts will get a link to track the accounts’ transactions. Besides, the account holders can set a limit for the charity fund for easy management.
In general, for MB to build complete financial products for the increasingly complex needs of Vietnamese people, they need to focus on small features. In the future, MB will continue to listen to customer feedback about MB’s digital banking experience, to affirm the difference as well as improve the customer experience.
Translated by Thao Van