The VNG Corporation’s Zalo signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement on June 21 in South Korea with the country’s Shinhan Financial Group to research, develop and apply AI in the fintech industry.

Mr. Sung Ho Wi, Chairman and CEO of Shinhan, and Mr. Vuong Quang Khai, VNG’s Deputy CEO, witnessed the signing ceremony. Shinhan highly regards Zalo in AI and believes the cooperative agreement will introduce modern and comprehensive services for customers and boost the development of Vietnam’s financial industry.

“The company will closely cooperate with Shinhan and will gain good results,” Mr. Khai said at the signing ceremony. The company also recognized Shinhan’s efforts in providing international-standard services to Vietnamese customers and adopting the latest trends in technology.

The cooperation aims to not only improve the quality of services but also bring AI into reality. Research results will be first applied to optimize Shinhan’s banking services on Zalo’s platform, where customers can find account information and conduct financial transactions.

Zalo was surprised with the proposal from Shinhan because this is quite a new sector, but researching AI is to serve customers and fintech is part of this trend.

An AI conference held by Zalo last December received much interest from the public and marked an important step forward for AI in Vietnam. Zalo has also set up a research center - Zalo Al - to stay abreast of trends in global technology.

Shinhan has been targeting Vietnam within its global strategy. After its acquisition of ANZ Vietnam, its new goal is to expand into the individual banking segment via international-standard services. The group also pays attention to transparency and convenience, simple procedures, and the application of modern technology. The group has also expressed a desire to accompany the growth seen in Vietnam’s banking sector and economy.

Zalo is a product developed by the VNG Corporation, a Vietnamese-based internet company. It had over 80 million registered users as of August 2017 and has become Vietnam’s largest social media platform. It also operates ZaloPay, a mobile payment service.