3 Must-Have Fintech/Finance Apps for Expats in HCMC

3 Must-Have Fintech/Finance Apps for Expats in HCMC

by August 6, 2016

Possibly the first thing you think about as an expat is money – how to manage it, where to store it, how to earn it, how to move it, etc. And as any expat in Ho Chi Minh will tell you, navigating the world of finance in this crazy city can seem impossible!

In other parts of the world finance technology (fintech) has transformed the way people deal with their money, bringing almost all financial activity online or onto your mobile phone. Fintech is still relatively new in Vietnam, but more and more startups are joining the tech craze all over the continent. Life gets so much easier when you can manage it all from your smartphone, right?

Here are three Vietnamese fintech applications that will transform your experience as an expat in HCMC in Vietnam, making money management so much easier. Once you try them, you won’t look back.

1. Payoo

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/PayooPage

Payoo does exactly what it sounds like – it “pays you”. The popular mobile app is essentially an E-wallet which users can reload from their bank account and use to buy, sell or make other transactions online. Super-convenient, this app makes it incredibly hard for anyone to get their hands on your hard-earned cash – you’ll put all those infamous HCMC  pick-pockets out of business.

Payoo is linked to over 25 Vietnamese banks, 35 service providers and more than 180 e-commerce websites across Vietnam – it has a huge network, so you could literally ditch your wallet and use your phone to pay for everything. If you want to use Payoo for paying your utility bills you don’t even need the app – just take your cash to a convenience store and they will use Payoo to process your payment.

What can you use it for?

  • Pay your electricity, water, phone, tv, internet and other bills online or at any 24/7 convenience store (this can also be done without the app)
  • Make purchases or receive payments online (similar to how you would use PayPal)
  • Pay@Store – a unique function where users can buy things online and pay for them at one of many selected local stores

Why we like it: Because it is so very simple and so very functional. Payoo makes it so much easier to make payments here in Saigon, especially if you are foreign to the city and are faced with the daunting task of figuring out cash, banking, exchange rates, etc.

How to get it: find the app, download it directly onto your phone and connect your bank account. Get some money in your fancy new E-wallet and wander over to Circle-K to make the most exciting electricity-bill payment you’ve ever made!

2. Momo


Photo credit: https://www.news.momo.vn

Momo is similar to Payoo but with a stronger emphasis on money management, functioning as both an E-wallet and a “branchless” banking service. You will like this app because it does everything, works logically and looks pretty swish. The only slight difficulty is that the app is currently only in Vietnamese.

The app is partnered with Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) so that corporate clients of SCB can pay their employees straight into their Momo account using the SCB service Straight2Bank. You can reload your account via direct deposit, bank card payment or at one of the city’s many Momo Shops. The app also supports Visa/MasterCard/JCB.

What can you use it for?

  • Pay your utility and other bills online
  • Receive your salary/payments online
  • Store your money in your Momo account
  • Shop online

Why we like it: Momo is a bit like a super bank – it has no tangible branches, it lives on your mobile phone, and it has the ability to store, move and manage your money. How convenient is that!

How to get it: Simply pick up your phone and download it, follow the directions to set it up, load some money using your preferred channel, and go crazy.


Timo Vietnam

Photo credit: https://timo.vn

TIMO brands itself as the coolest bank in Vietnam. Think of it as your metaphorical Monopoly Man: Vietnam’s first ever branchless banking system that will literally transform your entire experience of Vietnamese banking. No more incomprehensible websites, long queues and boring, grey bank outlets.

Powered 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 accounts, make deposits, etc at one of many TIMO Hangouts around HCMC, which are more like coffee shops or co-working stations than anything else. These Hangouts are perfect for both locals and expats in HCMC who work online or are looking for a meeting place to do business.

Customers are offered three main TIMO accounts: a Spend Account, a Goal Save Account and a Term Deposit Account for serious savers.

What can you use it for?

  • Store and manage your money
  • Pay utility bills or top up your phone

Why we like it: TIMO is the future of banking in Vietnam! It makes personal finance so much easier and is such a social solution to banking – grab a coffee, take a seat and hang out while you manage your money. It’s a co-working hotspot, cafe and digital bank all in one.

How to get it: Register via the TIMO website, visit a TIMO hangout to open an account and activate your bank card and download the TIMO app onto your phone.

Feature photo credit: www.Pixel.la Free Stock Photos