VNPay - The Second Unicorn in Vietnam

Author: Victoria Van

December 16, 2020

Vnpay Logo

The Highlight:

  1. According to the economic report E-Conomy SEA in 2020, VNPay officially becomes the second technology unicorn in Vietnam after VNG.
  2. The startup is valued at more than $ 1 billion .
  3. VNPay is well known for its QR code payment network in big cities.

Vietnam Payment Solution Joint Stock Company (VNPAY) was established in 2007. They have spent more than 10 years building and developing state of the art electronic payment solutions, and revolutionizing finance and banking in Vietnam.

Currently, VNPay is providing electronic payment services to more than 40 banks, 5 telecommunications companies, and more than 20,000 businesses, with typical services such as mobile banking, VNPay-QR payment gateway, and commercial websites.

Through banking apps, VNPay attracts more than 15 million monthly active users with functions such as money transfer, bill payment, bus ticket booking, and daily fresh food purchase.

Vnpay User

VNPay is said to officially reach the status of "unicorn" after last year's fundraising round from Softbank Vision Fund and state investment fund GIC. So after VNG, Vietnam became the second unicorn.

In the entire Southeast Asia region, VNPay and VNG are ranked with 11other technology unicorns including Bigo, Bukalapak, Gojek, Grab, Lazada, Razer, OVO, Sea Group, Traveloka, and Tokopedia. Out of these, only Grab and GoJek are considered"super unicorns" being valued at over $10 billion USD.

At the seminar "Developing Vietnam financial technology in turbulent season" in the framework of Techfest 2020, Mr. Le Tanh - CEO of VNPay had some sharing about the business story of this startup.

Talking about the development path of the business, Mr. Le Tanh said "there is no success at no cost, VNPay also has times facing challenges to change".

“The first challenge is how to change the habits of customers because the original ideas we gave were not used by anyone. We go with a great partner, convincing users to change their habits. It took VNPay 6 years for the core services of fintech to generate enough income for businesses, ”said Mr. Le Tanh.

“The second challenge in the process is that fintech is a new field in a new space, which requires new regulations. Payment intermediary is a type of service that has a sub-license and does not stipulate that this can be done and that not ”, Mr. Tanh shared.

The head of VNPay said, “If we do that, we cannot grow up. So we have to tear the fence, to find a way to create new services first because we know that for the state banks to step in and other ministries to agree there is precedent. We create services then ask again, if accepted then follow.”

Vnpay User

Receiving huge investment, VNPay is also facing fierce competition in the Vietnamese market. There are currently 37 licensed fintech service providers making the market crowded. Among them, 34 e-wallet providers have dreams that they will repeat success like Alipay or WeChat Pay in China.

To attract users and vendors, e-wallet providers - including VNPay - in Vietnam these fintech companies will have to "burn money" to reduce prices and market. The competition is focused on which company can build an ecosystem that is attractive enough to both users and sellers.

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