Many M&A deals have been reported recently which target fintechs operating in the field of payment services. Big investors are behind the deals.
Two members of Grab Vietnam have joined the board of directors of Moca, one of the fintechs which provide services as a payment intermediary.
The business registration certificate of Moca shows that Nguyen Tuan Anh, president and Lim Yen Hock, CEO of Grab Vietnam, are two of three members of Moca’s board of directors. The third is Tran Thanh Nam, CEO of Moca.
According to DealstreetAsia, Grab Vietnam became a shareholder of Mocal after taking over Moca shares from Access Venture SPV, an investment fund from Hong Kong.
Also according to DealstreetAsia, in late September 2017, SEA, one of unicorn startups in Southeast Asia, has acquired 82 percent of Foody’s shares and become a shareholder of VNPay, a payment intermediary licensed by the State Bank in October 2015.
In late 2016, another deal was made in which South Korean UTC Investment took over VNPT Epay. In the same year, Momo, the payment app, received the investment worth $28 million from Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs.
When fintech began booming five years ago, experts called them the ‘biggest rival of commercial banks’.
In March 2016, PwC announced the results of a survey, showing that 83 percent of traditional finance service companies thought a part of their operation was likely to fall into the hands of independent fintechs.
In a market with young population like Vietnam, with high usage of smartphones and ecommerce, payment fintechs have good conditions to develop.
However, most fintechs are taking loss. At a workshop held by the State Bank in late 2017, Pham Tien Dung, director of the Payment Department, said of 25 licensed payment service providers, only five could make profits from transactions. The others were described by Dung as ‘unstable’.
Observers said in order to obtain market share, payment intermediaries and e-wallets have to offer new facilities and launch promotion programs.
The service providers, for example, give back all the commissions to customers if they buy telephone cards and gaming cards. MoMo offers a gift of VND200,000 for the first use.
Service providers have to spend big money to lure more customers, and continued promotion programs have been eating into their stockholder equity.
However, investors are continuing to inject money into fintechs. Grab, an ride-hailing app with GrabBike and GrabCar, for example, has launched GrabExpress to join the delivery service field, and GrabFood Delivery to join the food delivery market.
According to a report on Vietnamnet