Young Customers Don’t Have Time To Wait, So Banks Step Up Digital Transformation, Says Digital Consultant Pham Anh Tuan, Deputy Director Of VIDTI (S2E11) | Vietcetera
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Young Customers Don’t Have Time To Wait, So Banks Step Up Digital Transformation, Says Digital Consultant Pham Anh Tuan, Deputy Director Of VIDTI (S2E11)

Vietnam’s banking industry is embracing the digital transformation of society. As it turns out, everything has its formula.

Young Customers Don’t Have Time To Wait, So Banks Step Up Digital Transformation, Says Digital Consultant Pham Anh Tuan, Deputy Director Of VIDTI (S2E11)

Source: Pham Anh Tuan

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To keep customers using their digital platforms, businesses need to create a superior experience for users. For industries with legacy systems like banking, user experience innovation is a time-consuming challenge. But customers can’t wait. Soo how do banks catch up with the pace of young people’s lifestyles?

Pham Anh Tuan — Deputy Director of Vietnam Institute of Digital Transformation and Innovation (VIDTI) — is an expert with many years of experience in digital strategies consultation for banks. He is also the founder of the Digital Transformation community in Vietnam with more than 600 members. He’s also been a translator of many bedside books on digital transformation.

To Pham, the only way to keep up with the pace of modern youth is to “forget to learn.”

Stay conscious in the digital vortex

The Vietnamese banking industry is entering a digital vortex. Banks have to expand their services to fit in the digital technology environment, not stopping at Internet Banking.

According to Pham, the race for digital transformation between banks is in a booming phase. Vietnamese banks, in general, are very proactive about digital transformation. They have partnered with technology and fintech companies to create the best products and experiences for their customers.

Banks have transformed from transaction banking to omnichannel banking and then to insightful banking — the highest level of digital banking, operating entirely on digital technology, Pham notes. And when a new product or service is launched, the next problem is how to attract users.

Outstanding customer experience is the deciding factor for young people to use digital banking. Pham shared three factors that banks should focus on to attract young customers:

1. Speed

People who use ride-hailing and food-ordering apps want everything as fast as possible. Banks pay technology needs to keep up with the accelerating turnaround times. Customers will spend only seconds on a website if it doesn’t immediately hook them. 80% of customers don’t want to spend more than 10 minutes waiting for a call from the call center. To fix this problem, banks need quicker turnaround times.

2. Simplicity

Reducing the number of taps on the screen is the key to a great banking app. The higher the clarity, the less troublesome it is for the user. For example, when opening a virtual credit card of MB Bank, it takes only 3 minutes for users to receive a credit initialization email, Pham pointed out, much faster than the two weeks or a month it takes in the traditional method.

3. Empathy with customers

Young people need to see that the bank is interested in their lifestyle to continue using the service for a long time. Therefore, banks must expand cooperation with other businesses such as fashion, cuisine and tourism.

Source: Shutterstock

Understanding customers through data

To have user empathy, banks must have secure procedures for collecting and using customer data. So how will digital banks use customer data?

Accessing and processing data used to be very expensive. But now, with the presence of cloud storage or SAP applications, small businesses can access and use them on a large scale. This method has two advantages:

  • Increase the bank’s resolution in the eyes of users: To understand the behavior and habits of customers in daily life, banks need to cooperate with third parties, who provide web surfing, shopping, or learning services. From there, the bank can get a 360-degree picture of the market.

  • Customer segmentation system: Information on age, location, or income will help the bank draw a map of customer distribution. From there, they divide the system into dozens or hundreds of microsegments. They will evaluate each segment to determine the type of customer to invest in.

The bank will then apply the Pareto 20/80 method, which means 20% of customers bring 80% of profits. When segments are formed, the bank will be able to make investment decisions in suitable customer groups.

The bank then build a CDP — customer data platform — consisting of both unstructured and structured data. They will anticipate and design exemplary service with the customer’s financial needs, including instant gratification, which allows customers to use the service immediately whenever they want.

According to Pham, this data use process fully meets all three factors banks need to focus on in digital transformation: speed, streamlining, and empathy.

What are the “points” a bank needs to “touch”?

The customer journey is much more complex in the banking industry than in the hospitality, catering, or tourism industries, according to Pham. And there are different banking journeys: buying a house, or a car, or taking out a consumer loan.

Each journey will have many touchpoints, in the digital space, but also physical facilities. The challenge here is that the virtual-reality experiences must all be similar in terms of quality standards.

Source: Pham Anh Tuan

Banks must be conscious and avoid creating too many touchpoints. Otherwise, users are likely to feel troubled, and the risk for the banks will increase. To do this, banks must integrate an ecosystem into a super app. 

To do that, one tack is to focus on diversity and expertise with banking development teams. It takes new thinking from many other industries such as fashion, health, art, cinema, or travel to develop breakthrough products.


  • Not only focusing on incremental sales, but banks also need to personalize the experience of their products and services. The bank must be open and become an empathetic friend about personal finance, helping customers improve their sense of financial management.

  • Do not focus on just one touchpoint on the customer journey, because it is easy to lose the integrity of the entire journey.

According to Pham, the future of banks’ digital transformation depends on expanding users’ touch points. Social media is the first solution to invest in. Banks can create direct interaction channels with their customers, such as MB Bank and loyal customers on Facebook.

Pham also said that integrating games into super apps is an innovative way for users to have new experiences. In the future, the banking industry will continue its digital transformation journey with promising products and services for Vietnamese people, especially the youth, he predicted.

Translated by Thao Van