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Fintech has been behind explosive growth in a whole range of financial services lately. However, areas where fintech is causing massive changes aren’t really numerous: the bulk of the financing (nearly 100%) goes to the payment industry, with only 1% being left for blockchain-related sectors.

Given that, the Vietnamese government has been stepping up efforts to put in place regulatory framework (in the form of regulatory sandboxes) necessary for the adoption of fintech legislation in Vietnam & facilitation of the work of technology enablers. 

Regulators

Created & controlled by the government, the FTC is a centralized body charged with regulating the fintech sector in Vietnam. Its efforts have resulted in the creation of direct dialogue between the government & technical research companies, owing to which the latter have been able to resolve the bulk of the legal issues they face on a daily basis. Another major achievement has been the creation of a regulatory sandbox, a kind of a virtual environment in which fintech-powered services can be tested for selected services.

Regulatory Framework

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of entrepreneurs & organizations wishing to obtain an IPS license in Vietnam. To meet this demand, Vietnam’s government prepared a bill on cashless payments whereby e-money is institutionalized & made a legitimate payment instrument. Under the bill, foreign investors will only be able to own up to 50% of shares in Vietnamese ISPs.

Though there are quite a few P2P lending platforms in Vietnam, P2P lending in Vietnam remains basically unregulated. Therefore, the country’s central bank has been taking steps recently to put in place a regulatory framework for P2P lending.

Specific Rules

Under recently amended legislation, high-tech transactions no longer include the requirement to hold face-to-face meetings when establishing customer relationships. Opening an account in Vietnam doesn’t require holding physical meetings either.

The country’s central bank is now busy implementing Open API in Vietnam’s banking sector. 

Regulatory Sandbox

Under a recently adopted draft decree, a fintech sandbox is introduced in Vietnam’s banking sector. Being an innovative legal mechanism, the sandbox allows lending institutions, providers of fintech services & innovative companies to put their services/products to a test in a strictly regulated legal environment. To join the sandbox, fintech companies are required to apply for an incorporation certificate in Vietnam. 

Some of the services that can be tested in the sandbox include systems of payments, Open API, P2P lending, support for KYC & other services that rely on modern technology. 

Under Vietnamese legislation, setting up a fintech company in Vietnam is a bit different from creating a banking institution. What makes it different is that it is authorized to furnish certain banking services that are based on fintech solutions. 

The bill also describes procedure for applying for a fintech services license in Vietnam, requirements for running a test launch of a service & an exit scheme for companies engaged in the tech sector.

Conclusion

Given a slump in economic activity caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an increase in demand for low-cost transactions in Vietnam lately. It is expected that further development of Vietnam’s regulatory framework will attract fintech investors from all over the world & give a much needed boost to the country’s economy. Therefore, all those planning on opening a business in Vietnam should consider fintech as a viable option. 

Need legal advice on fintech regulation in Vietnam? Interested in registering a fintech company in Vietnam? IQ Decision UK can assist you with that and a lot more.