Listen and subscribe to “Vietnam Innovators” in English: Vietcetera Podcast | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | YouTube.
Listen and subscribe to “Vietnam Innovators” in Vietnamese: Vietcetera Podcast | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | YouTube.
By definition, digital banking means digitizing all banking operations and substituting the bank's physical presence with an everlasting online presence, eliminating a consumer's need to visit a branch.
It’s not surprising that digital banking is often confused with online banking. However, while online banking only deals with the actual transactions — the key requirements most people will need to manage their finances seamlessly — digital banking goes much more profound. It mandates comprehensive re-engineering of a bank's internal systems. It's more than a virtual extension of functionalities that banking branches offer.
In this episode of Vietnam Innovators, we are joined by the General Director of Tyme Vietnam, Minh Le. Being one of the world’s fastest-growing digital banking groups, Minh talked about their Tech hub in Vietnam and what differentiates Tyme from other Fintech companies in managing their talents.
When Minh joined Tyme Vietnam about 13 months ago, there were only 130 people, and presently, they’ve doubled in size to around 270. With a focus on unlocking human potential, Minh’s team in Vietnam is skilled in AWS, Microservices, Cloud Core Banking, Integration, and Scrum delivery capability. In terms of talents, Minh emphasized two reasons why Vietnam is Tyme’s Technology & Product Development Hub:
- History: The Tech Hub in Vietnam was originally under the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). In 2018, it was acquired by the Tyme Group, and a year later, in February, Tyme Group and Tyme Vietnam launched TymeBank in South Africa.
- Per Minh, “the root that existed from that time already had this banking expertise that we wanted to incorporate into our products and carry on.” When building the global team, they considered a well-vetted team that already had an experience and was able to roll out the product quickly.
- Talent: “I think our team is very talented.” And Minh has proven that their team has solved some tough problems in many ways and times. He’s confident they can continue to crack even more challenging issues in the future.
After its success in South Africa, now with over 5 million users, Tyme is launching GoTyme Bank in the Philippines this year. GoTyme is a new digital bank in partnership with JG Summit Group. To Minh, the expansion proves how effective and productive his team in Vietnam is in designing, building, and operating digital banking ecosystems globally.
As a digital bank, Tyme strives to excel in its business model and work culture. When asked how Tyme Vietnam differs from other Fintech companies, Minh explained: “When I look at Fintech companies, I see two different ends of the spectrum. On the first end, I see the startups, and on the other end the traditional banks that want to digitize. We lie somewhere in the middle.
- Culture: His team defines culture as, “Take what you’ve learned and grow it as the business grows.”
- Horizontal growth: We’re not expanding only in one market but many markets. Our multi-country banking platform naturally allows for horizontal expansion.
- Highly regulated: Unlike other Fintech companies, Tyme is a bank and has to conquer banking regulations in each country it operates. Building a playbook to navigate this aspect of banking is an exciting challenge.
Additionally, according to Minh, their developers get to move up within the company and develop products for many markets. “In our company, you will naturally progress. For instance, if you’re building a lending product, you have to make sure this product can work in South Africa, the Philippines, countries 3 and 4, etc.”
To Minh, while it’s great that a product uses the latest tech and has many customers using it, it’s banking, and the product has to work at the end of the day. “If you can’t offer a reliable product with great user experience, they [consumers] are going to leave you.”
Watch the full interview below
The story was produced in partnership with Initiative for Startup Ecosystem in Vietnam.
This story program “Initiative for Startup Ecosystem in Vietnam until 2025" (also known as National Program 844) was approved by the Prime Minister on May 18, 2016 and assigned to the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam in charge of implementation.
The program aims to create a favorable environment to promote and support the formation and development of fast-growing businesses based on the exploitation of intellectual property, technology, and new business