‘Hot’ digital banking race on mobile apps

28-Nov-2020 Intellasia | Nhip song Kinh te | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The digital transformation of banks is becoming more and more exciting and the fact that banks are “looking at each other to run” makes it a real race in the market at present.

Each bank has its own strategy in digital transformation. Some banks pour hundreds of billion dong to trillions of dong each year to strengthen its digital banking, build their own digital bank, and consider it as a spearhead. However, some banks make moderate investment in digitalisation, while still promoting traditional banking due to having different views in targeted customers.

Although the levels of investment and strategies are different, with the current development of information technology, especially the popularity of smartphone, most banks have built their own applications (apps) for use on mobile devices towards the convenience and best experience for users. This has created another race — the race on mobile apps.

On the app stores, the demand of users is clearly shown through the ratings of the most downloaded apps. Certainly, the rankings sometimes see huge changes, especially when banks and financial institutions launch promotions to attract customers. For example, in late June, when Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MB) launched the programme which allows customers to choose good account number when opening accounts, the bank’s app continuously maintained the top most downloaded app for two to three consecutive weeks.

When Commercial Joint Stock Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) introduced its digital bank, Commercial Joint Stock Bank for Industry and Trade of Vietnam (VietinBank) launched Vietinbank iPay, and Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank) applied its zero-fee policy, their apps also climbed to the top.

By November 26th, on App Store (the app store for iOS devices), Momo e-wallet ranked at the top of the group of financial apps, followed by the apps of Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MB), Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank, TPBank mobile app), Vietcombank, Commercial Joint Stock Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam (Agribank), Commercial Joint Stock Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV, BIDV Smart Banking app), ViettelPay, Techcombank, VietinBank (VietinBank iPay) and Vietnam Prosperity Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VPBank).

Meanwhile, on CH Play (or Google Play — the app store for Android devices), the first position belonged to MB, followed by Momo e-wallet, Viettelpay, Vietcombank, Agribank, VietinBank iPay, Techcombank, Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank), Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ACB), and TPBank.

The rankings showed that there are banks that have consistently been in the top in terms of downloaded demand in both App Store and CH Play, but some banks only emerged for a few times on App Store Vietnam, and ranked low on CH Play. Banks having a strong position on both the stores show that their apps serve more diversified users.

According to an expert in the industry, with the “mobile first” trend, the development of digital banking apps on mobile phones is indispensable. A source pointed out that by the end of June 2020, the number of mobile phone users accounted for more than 70 percent of the population, equivalent to 150 million devices. In particular, the proportion of smartphone users accounted for more than 45 percent of the population and ranked the 15th in the world. Among smartphones, the iOS and Android operating systems currently account for the majority, and are competing fiercely with each other. Therefore, any bank that wants to grow well and serve a diverse range of users should develop its products on both of these operating systems. It is only half of the “market share pie” if only investing in iOS or vice versa.


Category: Finance, Vietnam

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