On September 26, 2018, the National Economics University in Hanoi officially held a launch ceremony for the new International Bachelor Program in Financial Technology.
Attending the event were Prof. Dr. Tran Tho Dat, principal of the school, Assoc. Prof. Jenho Peter Ou, vice president of School of Management at Asia University, Taiwan, Ms. Alice Chieng, education counselor at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, as well as several program leaders and lecturers of the National Economics University.
In his welcoming speech at the opening ceremony, Prof. Dr. Tran Tho Dat congratulated the new students admitted to the bachelor program in fintech,
“As a leading institution in Vietnam for training in economics, management and business administration, the National Economics University is always keen to grasp the new developments and trends, and help student adapt quickly to the changing labor market. The school is particularly interested in the quality of training, employment issues, as well as the challenges faced by students starting a business after graduation,” he said.
“The current phase is the beginning of the 4.0 revolutionary industrial revolution. Staff, faculty and students must always innovate and try to catch up with the general trend of the global economy.
“The bachelor degree in financial technology is one of the major developments of the university to embrace the current industrial revolution 4.0. This meaningful event reinforces the role and position of the school in exploring new areas of training that capture the digital economy.”
Assoc. Prof. Jenho Peter Ou, vice president of School of Management, Asia University, in Taiwan, congratulated the success of the cooperation between the two universities and the first students to join the new fintech bachelor program. He noted that fintech has become a critical subject in the financial landscape.
The Asia University, one of the top universities in Taiwan, has a Fintech and Blockchain Research Center, which studies the latest developments in technology adoption in the financial sector.
The National Economics University, in Hanoi, Vietnam, joins the growing list of universities across Asia that are offering fintech courses. These include the Singapore Management University, the National University of Singapore, the University of Hong Kong, and Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB).
Vietnam’s fintech market was worth US$4.4 billion in 2017 but is set to reach US$7.8 billion by 2020, according to a research from Solidiance, an Asia Pacific-focused consulting firm.
Foreign finance groups are eager to enter Vietnam’s nascent yet promising fintech market. Lotte Card has said it was considering developing products related to payment cards, mobile payments, fintech, financial data, and digital platforms, for the Vietnamese market.
Keb Hana, another South Korean group, is considering teaming up with a local fintech firm via direct capital injection or through an investment fund. Similarly, Senjo Group, a major fintech firm based in Singapore with profit averaging at US$400 million per year, is targeting payment fintech firms in Vietnam.
According to a State Bank of Vietnam report, foreign investors have poured some US$130 million in Vietnamese fintech firms in the past two years.
Notable deals include Korea’s UTC Investment acquiring a 65% stake in VNPT Epay for VND 542 billion (US$24 million), MOL Accessportal acquiring 50% of Vietnam’s top online payment system Ngan Luong, NTT Data acquiring 64% of Payoo, True Money acquiring 40% of IPay, and a consortium of Credit Saison, Golden Gate Ventures, and GMO Global Payment acquiring 25% of Bao Kim.
But possible new regulations from the SBV are set to limit foreign ownership in the fintech sector.
The regulator has proposed issuing detailed regulations on foreign shareholding limit in the country’s fintech firms to better manage the nascent sector.
Under a proposal on drafting a decree on non-cash payment submitted to the government recently, the SBV said that fintechs operating intermediary payment services relate to the country’s banking activities and financial market. These thus directly affect on the interests of service participants as well as the security and safety of the national monetary policy.
Therefore, the central bank said, it is necessary for state management agencies to adopt appropriate policies, including regulations on foreign ownership in this area, to avoid the manipulation of foreign investors, as well as ensuring national sovereignty in the banking and finance operation.