Posts tagged: vng

A brief history of Vietnam FinTech over the last decade

By , December 12, 2016 2:55 am

The first major event of ‘contemporary’ Viet FinTech was the birth of the then-competing three Bank Switchboards

Then there were OnePay, NganLuong, Payoo, Paynet, Webmoney, VTC Pay, Zing Pay…

I don’t have the ambition to list all players who joined the playground. We thus can skip through VNBC, NTT Data’s acquisition of Payoo, MobiVi’s successful funds raising series from players such as Experian, how BaoKim ‘borrowed’ from NganLuong, Paylink’s closure.

Key takeaway 1: The market consolidated even before it had the opportunity to fragment. It hadn’t taken long for Smartlink to take over the market before the merger (or reverse-acquisition) which subsequently hatched Napas.

Key takeaway 2: To base on bank or non-bank institution should not have even been a question to ask. Merchant-reliant payment solutions still need to run on top of bank-reliant gateways.

e-Payment is no longer stuck

e-Payment used to be a chicken-and-egg problem: no customer base no bargain power, no bargain power no business development. So chicken or egg?

This question, too, is irrelevant. Business development on merchant side must move ahead buyer base, the opposite doesn’t work. So the real question is: investment. A few deal-makers solved it beautifully, named Momo and PeaceSoft.

Zen?

If FinTech is as at today too ahead of Vietnam economy, should players zen down and wait till the economy catches up?

As much as we aspire to there’s only so much FinTech players can do to speed up the process. Educating users and banks is too costly even with deep pockets.

Then there’s politics.

Anything to do other than zenning and waiting for the retail banking market?

Considerations

  1. M&A and deal making.
  2. Optimize micro-transactions.
  3. Externalities and network development.
  4. Buy more time, slow down the cash burn rate.
    Fortunately, the market as in 2016 is not as harsh as “the last man standing wins” because players have found their respective verticals.
    Payment solutions are not only e-Commerce; big money is still cash management.
  5. The war against COD. The state of COD today was begun by NhomMua and Lazada. Tough but inevitable battle.
  6. Peer-to-peer financing.
  7. Key question: Strategic partnership with bank(s) is certainly a must, but how deep?
  8. Receiving investment, being a subsidiary (with all accompanying governance), being an associated company, integrate to the gateway, staying as a fa├žade, what help to get from SBV, what help to get from MOF.
    Governance often chooses man not the other way around.
  9. Treading the thin line of symbiosis, avoiding irritating financial institutions.

Bucket seems full, am I deluding myself astray?

Image source: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Entrepreneurship_Centre/Images/fintech-generic-phone.jpg

Android mobile messaging apps brief review

By , September 8, 2012 6:49 am

Icon Name Pros Cons
WhatsApp
  • Best for messaging
  • Quick
  • Stable
  • Auto-attempt to resend failed messages
  • Best interface
  • Good for sending photos
N/A
Viber Best for free call
  • Extremely heavy & sluggish
  • Some users find it hard to setup
  • Retrieve the whole phone contact list by default and fail to handle thousands of records
LINE Stickers
  • Frequent message failure
  • Slow compared to WhatsApp
  • Calls are more unstable than Viber
  • Photo sending is sluggish
WeChat
  • Hold to talk
  • Best for audio messages
Unsolicited messages from Chinese users
Zalo Flow & interface very similar to WeChat thus lower learning curve Spam friend requests from teenage strangers with incomprehensible language
Wala N/A Boring interface
TalkBox Hold to talk Old & boring interface
KakaoTalk N/A Uninspiring interface

What product(s) are you using? How can I add you on that service?

The treasure named real identity

By , February 11, 2012 7:07 pm
  • Real identities is the next treasure
  • Anything can plug in existing collection of real identities: advertising, market research, insurance, education, real estate, recruitment, pension, legal services, public services… ANYTHING!
  • The current most relevant interface/facade for an identity is a profile on a social network
  • Facebook owns probably the most powerful publicly-acknowledged identity database. Facebook’s real-time data mining has been scarily accurate.
  • Google knows what we search. Facebook knows what we share & whom we connect to.

In Vietnam:

Entity

Real identities

Convertible identities

Telecommunication carriers Registered subscribers Unregistered subscribers
Banks Customers, with transaction information N/A
e-Commerce & e-Payment services Customer accounts, with transaction informatio Off-site transactions
FPT ADSL subscribers
Tien Phong Bank customers
Readers of VnExpress & digital products
Gamers
VNG 123mua & Zing Deal customers Gamers
Zing Me accounts
Zing News readers
VTC TV subscribers
Go accounts
Gamers
VCCorp e-Commerce (including MuaChung) customers Readers of content products
Soha accounts

How to fully utilize the potential of identity? This is a decade-long strategy.

RIP Zing Deal

By , February 2, 2012 12:24 pm

zing deal close end vng announcement

After muale.vn, VNG decided to close Zing Deal.

How many more will die?

Disclosure: these are the deals I bought from these sites.

http://www.golive.vn/voucher/an-uong/ch-232-thap-cam-h-224-noi-1976/2442/

http://www.golive.vn/voucher/an-uong/voucher-thuong-thuc-2-m-243-n-ba-ba-tuoi-ngon-v-224-hap/2536/

x3 http://deal.zing.vn/deal/giam-49-su-lua-chon-thong-minh-chong-tron-truot-san-nha-voi-tham-kien-lam

http://deal.zing.vn/deal/39000d-diet-vi-khuan-giu-sach-vat-dung-bo-2-san-pham-super-clean-thong-minh

x2 http://deal.zing.vn/tp-ho-chi-minh/deal/78000d-tan-chay-voi-kem-bud-s-mat-lanh-cung-cac-mon-khai-vi-hap-dan

x2 http://deal.zing.vn/tp-ho-chi-minh/deal/40000d-cung-nham-nhi-cafe-gap-go-ban-be-giua-khong-gian-phap-tai-vendome

http://deal.zing.vn/tp-ho-chi-minh/deal/doc-la-cac-mon-an-mot-lan-nho-mai-tai-serepok-restaurant-chi-voi-50000d

x2 http://deal.zing.vn/tp-ho-chi-minh/deal/giam-50tan-huong-nhung-mon-kem-coffee-dam-net-chau-au-tai-angel-garden

http://deal.zing.vn/tp-ho-chi-minh/deal/ngon-tuyet-banh-la-baum-kuchen-vua-cua-cac-loai-banh-tai-le-tokyo-baum

How many Twitter clones in Vietnam have perished? What next?

By , December 3, 2011 6:41 am

Since 2008, the following

  1. qblog.vn
  2. hola.vn
  3. tiutit.com
  4. nhangui.com
  5. lamgi.com
  6. kucku.vn
  7. tictac.vn

A veteran from the Twitter clone craze in 2008 is mimo.vn and they did implement the SMS mass messaging feature that I had hinted. Another one is also left is saigonica.com

In 2011, these new local micro-blogging products were launched:

  1. ming.vn from VCCorp
  2. live.zing.vn from VNG
  3. pega.vn from VCCorp [slightly different in that it works on "add friend" mechanism instead of follow]
  4. vsao.vn

The wave of Weibo cloning will be observable in 2012.

Meanwhile, Tumblr is growing rapidly. Vietnamese users like right-brain products.

How social networking in Vietnam is different from other countries in the region

By , November 20, 2011 4:12 pm

10 years ago the first thing Vietnamese learn about communicating through the Internet is chatting. There were some services targeting Vietnam market before Yahoo! Messenger came to dominate all communication channels.

Yahoo! Messenger’s domination in Vietnam opened up the way for Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! 360. In recent years, the email market share is largely chipped by Gmail. Yahoo! Messenger, while the top IM client, faces competition from Skype. Hotmail, Live Messenger and Gtalk are not widely popular in the country.

A growing trend is, however, that people start to learn about social networking and Facebook. Many sign up for the Internet to, first thing first, communicating via social networks. The same is happening in other South East Asian countries.

The social network battle in Vietnam in 2011 boils down to the dual-horse race between the two leaders Zing Me and Facebook. While Twitter and Plurk gain traction in other countries in the region, micro-blogging in Vietnam has never taken off. Even technology-enthusiasts use Facebook for live reporting (which Twitter is logically most suitable for) and viralling current events.

Why? My attempt to answer the question:

  1. Vietnamese language comes with diacritics thus requires a lot more than 140 characters to express a full sentence
  2. Vietnamese users are more familiar with “Add Friend” relationship than “Follow” mechanism
  3. Most importantly, Twitter doesn’t satisfy the gamification demand crazed by Vietnamese users. Vietnamese teenagers go on Zing Me mostly to play webgames. Many also go on Facebook sheerly for games rather than for connecting. Foursquare has received lots of attention probably thanks to the rewards and Mayor competition.

The next question pops into my mind: if gamification is so important, why hasn’t Plurk known in Vietnam while it is very popular in Taiwan and the Philippines? Again, my attempt

  1. Plurk hasn’t been covered by local media which is crucial in the growth of services. Facebook received local media coverage.
  2. Many influencers don’t know what Plurk is. As for me, I deactivated my Plurk account after collecting many medals.

Thanks @salsabeela and @kounila for sharing the information on social networking in your countries.

Addendum

Tumblr is growing rapidly in Vietnam.

Ngoc Hieu has an explanation on the adaption Twitter: Vietnamese users like colors and emotions, neither of which Twitter offers.

Microblogging and social bookmarking 2011

By , October 8, 2011 3:43 pm
  • At its peak, Twitter had no more than 3000 users in Vietnam, the majority among whom are geeks. This is a rough estimation from many avid users. The number has dropped drastically since 2008.
  • Most Twitter clones in Vietnam failed. This year, I only see mimo.vn left. It eventually implemented SMS updates that I had hinted back in 2009.
  • 2 years after I deplurked, Plurk has been slowly gaining traction in Philippines and Taiwan. While information on the reasons Weibo dominates China is easy to find, analysis on Plurk is limited I still can’t answer why. A Taiwanese friend of mine, upon receiving my question, replied briefly “Personally I think the mechanism of Plurk is very close to Taiwanese ideology of mumbling”.
  • When Twitter clones don’t work, a new wave of products were hatched: VNG launched Zing Live, a proclaimed Weibo clone by its CEO. VCCorp launched Ming.vn and Pega.vn. Pega, surprisingly, works on “add friend” rather than “follow” mechanism.
  • I would expect more Weibo clones to come.
  • Digg, reddit, Mixx, slashdot, furk are all dropping
  • Meanwhile, StumbleUpon is having a spike in traffic. What has it done right?

stumbleupon traffic

Panorama Theme by Themocracy