Shinhan Bank Vietnam (Shinhan Bank) – one of the leading banks of South Korea, has officially took over the retail banking segment of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in Vietnam (ANZ Vietnam) to expand its payment services by utilising ANZ’s resources. Shin Dong Min, CEO of Shinhan Bank, addressed the acquisition of ANZ, the possible impacts of the transfer on ANZ’s existing customers, and personal opinion on the Vietnamese banking industry in 2017 and the time to come.
In April 2017, Shinhan Bank announced the acquisition of ANZ’s retail banking arm in Vietnam. Could you share further details on the acquisition process?
During the eight-month process, we placed our greatest efforts in the preparation of personnel, network and operation procedures, while awaiting the approval of the State Bank of Vietnam. On December 18, Shinhan Bank officially took over the human resources of ANZ’s retail banking services, eight branches and transaction offices, as well as over 125,000 individual customers, many of whom are high-income individuals with premium shopping habits.
What potential impacts might the acquisition have on existing ANZ customers?
Certainly, customers might be worried, however, with our strong capital funds, advanced banking technology, and Korean-standard services, we made a commitment to both individual customers from ANZ and current Shinhan customers to maximize their financial benefits.
In order to strengthen the safety and security of the transition, Shinhan Bank and ANZ Vietnam made the transfer process as convenient as possible. Basically, customers from ANZ can retain their personal information at ANZ, such as account number as well as credit and debit cards and Internet Banking-related information. What we required our customers to do was to simply sign the consent form, agreeing to transfer their information to Shinhan Bank, all of which would be updated automatically into our system. They can use all the information and cards as usual, without doing any paperwork at Shinhan branches or transaction offices.
However, customers transferred from ANZ gain access to a wider range of products and services offered at favourable charges, rapid transaction processing, and a Korean-standard security system.
After the acquisition of ANZ, what is your development strategy in the retail banking segment?
Over the last half decade, one of our bank’s major development strategies was to widen the retail banking segment and focus on improving service quality to offer better services to individual customers. We hope the acquisition will support us in balancing the product profiles of personal and corporate customers, putting the bank on a higher rank in the credit card market in Vietnam.
Specifically, we planned to leverage the strengths of ANZ’s existing customers and products, offer exclusive and multiple-benefit products as well as digitalise the majority of our products. Additionally, we partnered up with online payment platform providers to enhance the customer experience with electronic wallets (e-wallets), online transaction platforms, and payment applications on smart-phones.
What do you think of the Vietnamese retail banking industry in 2017? How does Ho Chi Minh City measure against the rest of the country in this area?
In 2017, the banking industry saw outstanding growth alongside the steady recovery of the economy, following a remarkable influx of investment streaming into the field of banking technology. The very reason behind our choosing Vietnam as an investment destination was the fresh and dynamic features of the overall market, which offered us plenty of opportunities to satisfy customer demand.
For instance, in 2017, we launched three high-tech application services, including Digital Branch Service, card payment services via mobile phone applications, and the biometric verification service for mobile banking, all of which are pioneering services in the banking industry of Vietnam.
From the standpoint of a foreign entrepreneur in the Vietnamese banking industry, Ho Chi Minh City cannot be ignored with its young and eager-to-learn population with a critical preference for cutting-edge technological applications. Thanks to the rising popularity of Internet and mobile devices, the advancement of several banking divisions, such as digital banking, mobile banking, online payment, and retail banking, saw little to no hindrances. Nonetheless, the payment demand in Ho Chi Minh City was not as high as in neighbouring cities. For example, the insignificant number of banking service subscribers could potentially benefit the personal finance market of the city in the long run.
What changes will come to the Vietnamese retail banking segment in the next five years?
Having a young population with a preference for technology applications, Vietnam has great potential for digital retail banking services. In my view, in the short run, online distribution channels are bound to grow immensely due to their flexibility and convenience. Besides, thanks to the government’s promotion of non-cash payments, Vietnam-based banks put forth digital banking services as one of the main services specifically catering to young clients.