The trend of expanding opportunities to access capital for people and businesses is seeing digital finance taking center stage. However, it also creates a fiercer and riskier lending race among banks. Credit information, combined with alternative data, will increasingly gain power. Lenders in robust markets will not only rely on the services and products of credit reporting companies but also employ the services and products of numerous data and analytics companies, which act as independent third parties. Vietnam is witnessing the early stages of the development of a digital financial ecosystem, primarily driven by the booming digital payment service segment. However, other service segments still hold vast potential for growth, necessitating the establishment of a legal framework and appropriate solutions to drive development in the digital economy and digital society trend.

Overview of digital finance

Digital Financial Service (DFS) encompasses financial activities that utilize digital technology, encompassing a range of services including cryptocurrencies, mobile financial services, online financial services, i-teller, and digital banking. These services can be provided by both banking and non-banking institutions. DFS covers various monetary transactions such as deposits, withdrawals, fund transfers, as well as a wide array of financial products and services including payments, credit, savings, pensions, and insurance. Additionally, DFS includes non-transactional services, such as accessing and viewing personal financial information through digital devices (OECD, 2017). The landscape of DFS is diverse, with mobile banking and online banking being the most popular and widely utilized digital channels for domestic payments and transfers, with mobile wallets being particularly prominent.


In the provision of DFS, a wide range of actors and stakeholders play distinct roles. Banks, being the largest actors, are heavily influenced by financial technology. Following them, telecommunications companies, particularly mobile network operators (MNOs), primarily provide cryptocurrency services and mobile wallets, acting as intermediaries between banks and customers. Insurance companies contribute by offering digital solutions for mobile use, online banking, and various other services. In certain countries, governments and authorities actively participate in DFS by facilitating digital money transfers for purposes such as salaries, pensions, welfare benefits, and revenue collection. Insurance and pension companies also play an active role in DFS. Additionally, stakeholders include fintech companies, electronic money institutions, investment banks, securities brokerage firms, brokers, mutual funds, and money transfer agents.

Improve the quality of credit information

CIC can leverage new technologies and enhance its information technology systems. This includes implementing advanced technologies and algorithms like Big data, ML, AI, BI for data processing and control. Simultaneously, CIC focuses on researching, investing, and upgrading core business systems, developing software, ensuring information safety and security, and expanding cross-border information exchange. One of the eight solutions for CIC’s development by 2025, with a vision to 2030, is to expand information sources to develop the national credit information database. In this regard, CIC actively verifies and cleans data about individual customers by connecting to the national database on population. As a result, 4 data checks have been completed, covering 42.3 million records out of a total of 53.3 million individual customer records, representing nearly 79.4%. CIC has also added a “Verified” status in its reports for properly matched customer records.

In Vietnam, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face challenges in accessing capital due to limited options in financial institutions, lack of transparency in financial statements, unviable business plans, and insufficient collateral, among other reasons. These challenges can be addressed if banks have access to comprehensive business data, including both credit and non-credit information.

Challenges for Vietnam’s digital financial market

The field of digital financial services is relatively new, which has resulted in an incomplete legal framework that has not kept pace with the evolving reality. This has become a hindrance to the development of the digital financial ecosystem. The management and supervision of entities within this ecosystem are still limited. The regulatory environment plays a critical role in shaping the development of the digital financial ecosystem. Although the legal framework for financial services, including digital finance and non-cash payment, has gradually improved, there is still room for progress. Additionally, authorities are adjusting the management of financial technology (fintech) services to encourage and facilitate development.

Furthermore, there is a concern regarding consumer protection due to the high risks associated with information insecurity and data security. Currently, several limitations require addressing in ensuring network information security and safety in Vietnam. Additionally, there is a lack of effective collaboration and cooperation between the key actors in the digital financial ecosystem, including the government, banks, insurance companies, stockbrokers, venture capital funds, fintech companies, and customers. This lack of collaboration hampers both the development and the assurance of information safety and security.

What should foreign investor need to take note when joining Vietnam’s market

Emphasizing Cybersecurity and Data Privacy:

As data networks expand, so does the need for robust cybersecurity measures and data protection frameworks. Foreign investors should prioritize investing in cybersecurity infrastructure and implementing stringent data privacy policies to safeguard sensitive information. By demonstrating a commitment to protecting customer data and complying with local regulations, investors can build trust among consumers and regulatory authorities, setting a solid foundation for long-term success.

Seizing Opportunities in Fintech and E-commerce:

Vietnam’s rapid digital transformation has created exciting opportunities in the fintech and e-commerce sectors. Expanding data networks allow foreign investors to tap into the growing consumer demand for online payments, digital banking, and e-commerce platforms. To capitalize on these opportunities, investors should focus on developing innovative fintech solutions, optimizing logistics networks, and collaborating with local e-commerce players to create seamless customer experiences.

Engaging with Government Agencies and Industry Associations:

Encourage foreign investors to actively engage with relevant government agencies and industry associations operating in Vietnam. These entities can provide important insights, facilitate regulatory compliance, and assist in navigating the intricate business landscape. Building strong relationships with these stakeholders can help investors stay ahead of market trends, access funding opportunities, and expand their networks within the Vietnamese business community.


Expanding data networks in Vietnam is crucial to unlocking the full investment potential of this dynamic market. By capitalizing on the government’s infrastructure development initiatives, partnering with local telecom companies, emphasizing cybersecurity, and seizing opportunities in fintech and e-commerce, foreign investors can pave the way for success in Vietnam’s thriving business ecosystem. Furthermore, actively engaging with government agencies and industry associations will provide valuable support and connections. Vietnam’s expanding data networks offer exciting prospects for foreign investors, enabling them to access capital, drive growth, and achieve long-term success in this rapidly evolving economy.

HMLF is always available to offer assistance in understanding the procedures with authorities.

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Harley Miller Law Firm “HMLF”
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