Vietnam’s Fintech Ride Hailing Market: Grab Goes Consumer Finance / Go-Viet Needs Payment Licenseby Fintechnews Vietnam July 12, 2019
Vietnam’s fintech sector is heating up as Singapore’s “super-app” Grab looks to staff up its financial services division in the country, hinting at plans to launch a lending offering soon.
Grab introduced its postpaid service PayLater earlier this year for Singapore. Meanwhile, Go-Viet, an on-demand multi-service platform supported by Indonesia’s ride-hailing giant Go-Jek, is seeking managers for a new online payment service.
Grab VN staffs up its financial services division
In a LinkedIn job posting, Grab’s Vietnam division says it is looking for a financial services marketing manager with a special focus on lending.
“We are hiring for an experienced marketer to be part of the Vietnam marketing team that supports the lending business,” the job description reads. “You’ll be responsible for figuring out the best ways to engage Grab’s millions of micro-entrepreneurs and find relevant financial products from our partners that will improve their lives. You’ll build out a new way of marketing financial products to an unbanked or underbanked audience, opening up financial inclusion in the region.”
Day-to-day tasks include developing go-to-market strategy for Grab’s lending business in Vietnam and roll out educational programs for “Grab’s new range of financial services to millions of underbanked drivers, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and consumers in Vietnam.”
A separate job posting on its website reveals that Grab’s lending business, Grab Financial Services Asia, is also looking for a compliance and regulatory manager who will be responsible for “carrying out all compliance related activities and ensure compliance with the applicable local laws, rules, regulations and standard.” The person will also be required to “record, update and disseminate regulatory watch for consultation, notification and disseminate to relevant parties on regulatory updates and advise on changes and implications.”
Other talents the company’s financial arm is seeking for its Vietnam team include a quality control manager, a business development manager, a head of operations, a management of merchant acquisition and a MasterCard portfolio manager for GrabPay, as well as a head of government affairs, who will be essentially lobbying for the company with a focus on “establishing key partnerships with relevant governments stakeholders, serving as our team liaison with government stakeholders and representing our team at key government meetings and events to help the team achieve its social mission.”
Grab started offering financing to SMEs and micro-insurance to its drivers in Singapore earlier this year after raising US$1.5 billion from the Vision Fund. The funding is part of a larger US$6.5 billion Series H the firm plans to raise to compete against its Southeast Asian rival Go-Jek from Indonesia. As of April 2019, Grab’s Series H had already swollen to US$4.5 billion, and in late June, the company raised an additional US$300 million from US investment manager Invesco.
Reuben Lai, head of Grab Financial Group, told Nikkei Asian Review earlier this month that the company is currently expanding its financial services arm and considering to apply for a banking license in Singapore. The firm is seeking to boost its profitability before a future initial public offering.
Go-Viet accelerates recruitment ahead of payment service launch
Meanwhile, Go-Viet, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s ride-hailing giant Go-Jek, is looking to recruit talents for leadership positions for its upcoming Go-Pay service. These include a head of business development and a legal senior manager. Go-Viet’s country director Christy Le and former CEO of Facebook Vietnam posted the job ads on her Facebook account.
Go-Viet has been in Vietnam since last year and currently only offers motorbike and delivery services. Following on the steps of competitors Grab, FastGo, MyGo and BE, the company is now looking to launch a digital payment service.
No more License Take / Fast Go and Be Group
FastGo, which is part of the NextTech Group in Vietnam, got into the digital payment game after NextTech Group’s payment startup mPOS was merged with Vimo in June to become NextPay. NextPay is led by FastGo CEO Nguyen Huu Tuat.
BE Group launched its digital financial services offering in partnership with Vietnamese lender VPBank in May, and MyGo is a ride-hailing app launched in June by Viettel Post, the delivery arm of Vietnam’s telecom provider Viettel Group, which uses its Viettel Pay digital banking service.
Go-Viet will likely need to seek direct regulatory approval from the State Bank of Vietnam which recently tightened its stance towards digital payment providers, notably when it comes to strategic takeovers like the Grab/Moca VN deal.
The regulator is currently revising the Circular 39/2014/TT-NHNN on payment intermediary services, and seeks to introduce specific provisions for the management of electronic payment systems and digital wallets, including setting an e-wallet transaction limit, as well as know-your-customer (KYC) requirements.
Featured main picture via Facebook.