Timo – The First Digital-Only Bank in Vietnam

Timo – The First Digital-Only Bank in Vietnam

by March 24, 2016
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Banking in Vietnam had stood in place for decades before it’s moved to a new stage of Internet banking. For the first time ever, Vietnam has its first Digital Bank.

First Mobile-Only Bank in Vietnam — Timo

Timo stands for TIME & MONEY, which serves for the right purpose of the product: saving time on many transactions and payments, instead of being tired queuing at the banks or logging with several different internet banking systems.

On August 4th, 2015, the National Bank of Vietnam had confirmed that Vietnam Prosperity (VP Bank) bank had registered to issue a new debit card named TIMO — a new generation of Banking in Vietnam, aims to support locals and expatriates in managing their money in their way wherever and whenever.

The first Digital Banking for Vietnam— TIMO has launched recently which gives users a better solution to manage their money, bills and even top up mobile cards. However, alike many other Internet Banking services on PC and Smartphone, what makes TIMO a phenomenon? To study about TIMO in detail, let’s start step by step.

Testing out the Timo website and app

First of all, take a glimpse at their website here:

Click: “Join TIMO now”. Hence follow the guidance till you receive an email from TIMO team with an invite link to join them. After the completion of the online registration, TCR (TIMO Care Representative) will give you a call.  Then you need to visit their TIMO Hangout  to open an account and active your debit card.

“Timo confirmed versus Fintechnews to have already 56,000 users on the waiting list.”

Secondly, once you arrive at TIMO hangout, it’s likely a place to hang out more than a bank office, where can even be an ideal place to meet friends or to work.

Timo Hangout

Timo Hangout

A free drink will be served when you first come to open account and later you get  50% discount on the menu as Timo member. Whilst enjoying your drink, TCR will explain, demonstrate and answer all your questions.

The third step, download and try out the Timo app. In general it seems much easier to use than other Internet banking or wallet apps.

Timo supplies three main accounts with their own missions, and can be use by one easy finger-swiping on your device.

Spend account function by swiping to the left or the right

Spend account function by swiping to the left or the right

Spend account connects with your debit card to transfer money within wide range of banks, to pay bills such as electricity, Internet, Cable (TV), or either top-up your phone,all free of charge.


Goal save account: to manage your goals

Goal save account: to manage your goals

Goal save account offers its users the interest rate of 1%/year and  will be paid monthly.

Term deposit account offers a competitive interest rate in VND

Term deposit account offers a competitive interest rate in VND

Term deposit account  is the best option for people who aren’t good at saving their money. Timo offers a competitive interest rate up to 6,8% for a 12-month deposit. Once you choose to open a term deposit account, Timo app automatically asks the holder to divide the amount up to 4 parts. This makes sure that in case you need money you still can benefit on the other parts from the high interest rate.

Other benefits that Timo offers

  • More than 17,000 ATMs to serve Timo debit cards free of charge.
  • Free transferring out from Timo account to any other Vietnam bank accounts.
  • Free cash in and withdraw from any VP banks in Ho Chi Minh.
  • Free of charge withdrawing up to 20 million VND at Timo Hangout.

Timo Vietnam Card

And a lot more to be discovered with Timo.

Who can open a Timo account? 

Everyone who has an ID/passport, an email address, a Vietnamese phone number and a smartphone that can connect to internet. This is also a great opportunity for expatriates who doesn’t want to have any obstacle while opening a bank account in Vietnam.

Nevertheless, Timo still needs to improve some parts.

  • It isn’t 100% Digital Banking, as people need to visit the Timo Hangout to open an account.  This is due to KYC Banking regulation in Vietnam.
  • For any adjustment or changing based on your account, you need to show up at their office as well.
  • Clients with an active VP account need to discuss further with TCR due to their terms and conditions.
  • Timo let you pay only a selection of invoice. For example in Cable (TV), they are only connected with VTV, not yet SCTV.


For people who faced quite enough issues with banking, it’s worth a try to open a Timo account. Prior to its advantages and the great support from its staff Timo app is easy to use and easy to manage. So it’s time to save your time and money to enjoy a better UX and better experience. 56,000 potential customers are already on the Timo waiting list, let’s see if Timo is able to onboard them all.

You can open an account here.


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23 Comments so far

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  1. tranvinhnt
    #1 tranvinhnt 25 March, 2016, 07:16

    Other issues is if you are a VP bank customer, you could not get Timo account.

    By the way, VIB bank is also serving this feature so client can open their account purely on internet/ app than MOS (man on scooter) services will go to client’s place to get their sign/application. More in here (https://vib.com.vn/wps/portal/newrequest/getting-started-en/)

  2. #2 Fintech in Vietnam: Mobile Payment Space Ripe for Rapid Growth | Fintech Singapore 15 April, 2016, 16:58

    […] Recently we even saw the first Digital “only” Bank in Vietnam, called Timo. […]

  3. #3 Mobile Banking Surges in Asia | Fintech Singapore 6 May, 2016, 09:11

    […] by VPBank, Timo launched in March the country’s first digital-only bank. Essentially, the service lets you […]

  4. #4 Fintech Vietnam News Updates, May 2016 | Fintech Singapore 20 May, 2016, 11:51

    […] Read Fintech Singapore article: “Timo – The First Digital-Only Bank in Vietnam”  […]

  5. #5 Digital Bank Timo Targeting Vietnam’s Millennials, The “Simple” for Vietnam | Fintech Singapore 31 May, 2016, 07:11

    […] Timo has neither branch nor offices. Instead, its only physical presence is a cafe in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Dubbed the Timo Hangout, the place is where newcomers are introduced to the digital bank’s products and services, and where the company conducts all required KYC checks and formalities for on-boarding new clients. […]

  6. #6 Wider Spectrum of Investors for Fintech in Vietnam | Fintech Singapore 7 June, 2016, 14:44

    […] exciting cases, namely Bankgo, a comparison site for loans, and the first digital-only bank called Timo, which local lender VPBank launched earlier in […]

  7. #7 3 Must-Have Fintech/Finance Apps for Expats in HCMC | Fintech Singapore 6 August, 2016, 13:13

    […] by VP Bank, TIMO has no physical banking branches – most of your banking will be done online using the TIMO app. Customers can open their […]

  8. #8 6 Fintech Startups From Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam to Watch | Fintech Singapore 24 August, 2016, 10:53

    […] is Vietnam’s first digital bank, allowing clients to manage their finances on their mobile phones in addition to offering a set of […]

  9. #9 The 7 Hottest Fintech Startups and Solutions in Vietnam | Fintech Singapore 22 December, 2016, 08:25

    […] a product of Lifestyle Project Management Viet Nam, is the country’s first and only neo-bank, enabling residents to manage their finances via their smartphones and allowing for more […]

  10. #10 6 Fintech Startups From Hanoi, Vietnam to Watch | Fintech Singapore 28 December, 2016, 11:38

    […] one of the country’s first fintech startups to gain international recognition; Timo, Vietnam’s first and only digital “bank” powered by VP Bank; and LoanVi, Vietnam’s first peer-to-peer lending online marketplace for […]

  11. #11 Vietnam’s FE Credit Secures US$100M Loan from Credit Suisse | Fintech Singapore 31 January, 2017, 14:06

    […] VPBank, formerly known as Vietnam Joint-Stock Commercial Bank for Private Enterprises, was established in 1992 and is one of the earliest-established joint-stock commercial banks in Vietnam. It is the banking partner of Timo, Vietnam’s first digital bank. […]

  12. #12 The Hottest Digital Bank in Vietnam Just got Funding and a new Partner | Fintech Singapore 30 March, 2017, 13:09

    […] has entered into a 3-year partnership with Global Online Financial Solutions Ltd., the owner of Vietnam’s digital banking platform Timo. The partnership enables Timo to offer life and health insurance products and provide its customers […]

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  14. #14 8 Hot Neo and Challenger Banks in Asia | Fintech Singapore 10 April, 2017, 13:40

    […] launched in Ho Chi Minh in early 2016, Timo expanded to Hanoi later that year. This March, Timo began […]

  15. #15 Hot Fintechs in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong 2017 | Fintech Singapore 28 February, 2018, 18:22

    […] a product of Lifestyle Project Management Viet Nam, is the country’s first and only neo-bank, enabling residents to manage their finances via their smartphones and allowing for more […]

  16. #16 Digital Banking Sees Prosperous Future in Vietnam | Fintech Singapore 13 August, 2018, 09:14

    […] support customers’ behavior analysis and is providing a full digital banking experience through Timo, a platform developed by local startup Lifestyle Project Management Vietnam […]

  17. #17 Digital Banking Sees Prosperous Future in Vietnam - Finance Crypto Community 13 August, 2018, 09:15

    […] support customers’ behavior analysis and is providing a full digital banking experience through Timo, a platform developed by local startup Lifestyle Project Management Vietnam […]

  18. #18 Neo Banks and Challenger Banks in Asia: Ready for Prime Time? | Fintech Singapore 10 October, 2018, 16:31

    […] interesting case for challenger banks in Asia is Timo, hailing from Vietnam it is the country’s first challenger bank which is a result of a partnership with […]

  19. Hang
    #19 Hang 28 November, 2018, 13:45

    Dịch vụ ngân hàng Timo càng ngày càng đi xuống. Giao dịch viên Nguyễn Thanh Tâm tại chi nhánh Ngô Quyền, Hà Nội nói chuyện với khách hàng như một người không có giáo dục, lấc cấc và không muốn giải quyết yêu cầu của khách hàng cũng như không hiểu về chính quy trình làm việc, xử lý giao dịch tại ngân hàng mình đang làm việc.

    Phần mềm quản lý báo số dư nợ bằng 0 VND nhưng email báo khách hàng nợ hơn 1 triệu đồng ?!? Khách hàng email hỏi 1 vấn đề, ngân hàng trả lời mà không hề đọc kỹ nội dung và câu hỏi của khách hàng.

    Giải quyết thắc mắc ít nhất 2 tuần, hơn 3 tháng vẫn chưa có thông tin về kết quả yêu cầu rà soát tài khoản.

    Chăm sóc khách hàng quá tệ, anh/chị lưu ý không nên mở tài khoản tại Timo hoặc đã mở hãy hủy càng sớm càng tốt!

    This is an unreliable bank, the service sucks!
    The bank clerk (Nguyen Thi Tam in Ngo Quyen, Hanoi) is not only uneducated to communicate with a customer but also doesn’t understand about the process in the bank where she is working at.

    Application on the phone notify that the debt is 0VND, however, the bank keeps sending an email to ask about the debt more than 1,000,000VND. This is ridiculous and unacceptable! I complained several times but Timo hasn’t answered exactly what I asked for!

    It’s a way too long to solve a problem, at least 2 weeks to answer (not solve the issue). So far, more than 3 months, I haven’t had the answer for a transaction which is paid by somebody else but me!

    You should cancel this bank asap!!!

  20. Daniel B Rutter
    #21 Daniel B Rutter 18 March, 2019, 14:10

    What are the fee’s to transfer money from my US bank?

  21. #22 Hong Kong’s Virtual Banks May Have to Look Beyond Its Borders in Battle for Talent | Fintech Hong Kong 2 May, 2019, 14:41

    […] 2000, while China has been dishing out licences since 2014. In Southeast Asia, Vietnam has seen Timo, its first branchless bank go live in […]

  22. #23 Vietnam’s Digital Bank Timo Celebrates Its Third Birthday | Fintech Singapore 28 June, 2019, 07:47

    […] in March 2015, Timo officially opened its doors in early 2016 with the launch of the Timo Hangout in Ho Chi Minh City. Timo Hangouts serve as bank […]