03:58 (GMT +7) - Tuesday 23/10/2018

Banking & Finance

Credit contacts

Released at: 08:58, 05/11/2017

Credit contacts

Photo: Viet Tuan

Accessing loans and cards at banks has been made easier for customers with the appearance of a new startup.

by Hai Van

High demand among customers for financial products have encouraged banks and financial institutions in Vietnam to continually launch new services to the market. Choices are many but information lacking in many cases, frustrating customers. BankGo was launched to fill the gap.

A FinTech platform, the startup provides financial information on interest rates for home loans, car loans, and consumer loans and the credit cards of different banks in Vietnam. 

New idea, old thinking

BankGo’s products and services are free to users and include searches and comparisons on loans and credit cards. After receiving information, BankGo connects customers with a bank official, cutting the time to complete procedures by one-third. 

Mr. Ngo Trung Dung, Co-founder and CEO of BankGo, said preparations for the startup began in March last year and it was officially launched last October. With ten years of experience in credit and risk management at large banks in Vietnam, he understands the market. Demand for credit is high but not met by supply, which bolsters the black credit market in Vietnam. “Credit is a conditional product, which requires customers supply full information,” he said. “This can present problems.” 

Another issue for BankGo is mindset. Vietnamese, in general, distrust financial brokers. BankGo has therefore spent a great deal of time and energy on establishing belief among customers. The different mindsets found in different cities and provinces also created difficulties when it came to expanding its scale. But BankGo’s has set up detailed strategies for its staff to deal with any and all issues. 

Conversely, BankGo has a lot going for it, thanks to its access to data on banks and banking staff in Vietnam at U&Bank. This makes it easier for BankGo to have complete information on the products and interest rates of different banks and to establish relationships with bank officials. 

Its first year has been quite a challenge, but determination has led to results. The startup is connected to 37 banks and finance institutions in Vietnam. Successful loan deals number 280, with loans totaling VND80 billion ($3.5 million). 

Desire to develop

BankGo was ranked as one of seven startups with the most potential by Fintech Singapore in 2016, and it received investment from an angel investor last year. While Mr. Dung was reluctant to go into details about the investment, he said it has supported BankGo in building and offering its products and services. He also hinted to VET that the startup is in discussions with two new investment funds to mobilize additional capital, enabling BankGo to improve existing functions and introduce new functions on its website during its next stage of development.

Product quality is crucial for every enterprise, Mr. Dung said, so BankGo’s staff pay attention to developing its technology platform and core products. In tandem with the smartphone boom in recent years, BankGo has designed an app to improve interaction between user and bank. “Profit is not the most important thing for BankGo at present,” he emphasized. “Instead, we are focusing on finalizing our technology systems to launch optimal utilities for customers.” 

Different to other Vietnamese tech startups like DesignBold and iCheck, Mr. Dung does not have any plans to take BankGo global just yet. Vietnam’s growing population, booming internet rates, and high demand for credit provides optimism over the potential BankGo possesses. “Our initial aim is to conquer the domestic market, which is quite large,” he said.    

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