Southeast Asia is proof that digital banking and blockchain-based payments and loans platforms are engaging a massive swathe of users.
Lendo offers a somewhat different service to that of Timo, because our core proposition is loans against cryptocurrency collateral and the ability to spend crypto using a Lendo card. We can see opportunities for Lendo in Vietnam, which as a country is emerging as a digital powerhouse in this corner of Asia and Timo’s success is proof that tech-focused innovation is going to play a big role in the future of this country.
Timo, a digital bank based in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) has just celebrated its third birthday as Vietnam’s first bank with no traditional branches. Timo launched in HCMC in 2016 with a Timo Hangout. As Fintech News Singapore says, “Timo Hangouts serve as bank branches but without the allure of one. Instead of a traditional branch with tellers, Timo Hangouts have a cozy coffee shop and are used to open accounts or to simply meet up with friends.” Now it has Hangouts in three other cities.
It has certainly appealed to a younger generation of customers who are familiar with the digital world. By the end of 2016, it had signed up over 24,000 customers and recorded over US$4 million in deposits.
Cameron Warden, CEO of Timo, told Fintech News Singapore, “Today, Timo’s user base is well into the mid-hundreds of thousands of customers with an average monthly active rate of 65% plus.”
Why does Timo appeal to customers?
One reason is that every transaction can be done via mobile app, and second, almost al services are free. Money transfers, payments and managing accounts can be done remotely through the mobile app. Customers only need to meet a Timo Care Representative in person at a Timo Hangout when initially opening an account. The process is quite straightforward and only involves standard KYC/AML procedures and checks.
Vietnam has great potential for digital banking
Vietnam’s conventional banks have been spurred into action by Timo and its popularity with consumers. Do Danh Thanh, technology consulting director at PwC Consulting Vietnam said, “Despite the fact that many customers still stick with traditional banking, digital banking services have been growing rapidly and are expected to replace traditional banking gradually. There is huge potential for digital banking to become the norm because of the core values that it delivers, such as simplicity, connectivity, and effectiveness.”