Banks on road for digital transformation

September 13, 2021 - 07:00

The banking system and credit institutions are the lifeblood of the nation's economy, with digital information in banking and finance set to become one of the key factors in the digital economy, according to experts.


A customer makes a transaction at Vietcombank headquarters in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Việt

HÀ NỘI — The banking system and credit institutions are the lifeblood of the nation's economy, with digital information in banking and finance set to become one of the key factors in the digital economy, according to experts.

The issue was discussed in an online forum “Digital Finance 2021” held by the Vietnam Financial Times last week.

Addressing the online forum, Nguyễn Việt Hùng, deputy head of the Financial Informatics and Statistics Department, told participants that the digital economy, digital government and digital society were three key pillars that supported the national digital transformation programme.

"Digital government helps the government operate more efficiently, effectively and transparently. The digital economy promotes innovation, creates new values, new growth engines and helps increase labour productivity. Digital society helps people have equal opportunities to services, training and knowledge, narrows the development gap and reduces inequality," he said.

Hùng added the process of digital transformation was to build a digital banking ecosystem.

In 2018, the Ministry of Finance built an e-government architecture model to act as an information management and planning tool. Last year, the ministry changed it to an overall e-government architecture model towards the goal of becoming a digital financial ecosystem, in which the Government plays a vital role in creating connections with ministries and agencies through the sharing of digital platform data.

To achieve this, the digital financial ecosystem must be capable of building, integrating and sharing public budget financial data for many subjects, giving them the right of quick access to data via the Internet.

Financial and budgetary data was the raw material for people and businesses to use to create digital services that match their demands and models of businesses and individuals in the fastest manner possible.

Hùng said that it was expected that a strongly advanced financial industry in 2030 would become a platform for the development of a digital economy by enhancing the value-added in financial services, and transforming economic models.

Hoàng Văn Cường, vice rector of National Economics University, said over the past years, the financial sector had gained achievements  in administrative reform and in the application of computerisation and digitisation.

In particular, tax management administration and customs have made great strides with a radical change by shifting from paper-based and face-to-face identification and authentication to modern management models by applying information technology in public services arrangements.

The General Department of Taxation has conducted an online tax declaration and payment system, which is connected to commercial banks to implement transactions for tax payments. Switching to online payment has reduced work for customs officers and helped businesses save time and money.

Around 99 per cent of custom clearance procedures are made online. The ease of online tax payment has pleased the business community and new payment methods have prevented errors and ensured immediate cargo clearance.

The World Bank has also acknowledged the efficiency of the electric customs clearance process conducted by Việt Nam Customs. It has helped cut time, and costs worth US$200 million per year.

According to Cường, this not only saved time, costs and human resources for businesses and citizens, but also enhanced awareness and transparency. It also helped changing methods of communication, minimising negative behaviours,  creating a favourable business climate for businesses as well as luring foreign investors to do business in Việt Nam.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation is no longer an option but a critical need for all businesses and countries. The pandemic forces businesses to transform from traditional to new economic models with the application of new technologies. — VNS