Vietnam’s ride-hailing firm BE partners VPBank to launch payments services

BE Group, the local rival of Grab and GOJEK in Vietnam, has launched its digital financial services in partnership with Vietnamese lender VPBank.

beFinancial will integrate VPBank’s services into the be app to become a platform that comprises ride-hailing, payments, loyalty and reward and other online financial services for drivers and local SMEs.

Earlier in March, DEALSTREETASIA reported that several board members of VPBank had invested in BE Group, with the aim to support the latest ride-sharing app to roll out financial services in competition with Southeast Asian decacorn Grab in the local market.

VPBank did not comment, while BE Group then declined the news.

Launched in December 2018, BE Group said its founding shareholders poured several hundred millions of US dollars in the firm, and VPBank was its strategic business partner.

Under the latest partnership, beFinancial will offer cashless payments to users for their rides, phone bills and in-store payment.

BE Group and VPBank will also issue a co-branded credit/debit card which will allow individual customers to enjoy loan benefits such as interest rate incentives and quick lending procedures. Customers using the card will also be entitled to be app’s loyalty programmes and promotions such as cash-back.

Meanwhile, to enhance support to drivers, beFinancial will help them access VPBank’s services more easily, especially motorbike or car loans.

Thanks to the integration of BE Group’s technology and VPBank’s services, beFinancial will create payment management portals for businesses to help minimize paperwork and improve accuracy and transparency in transactions.

“beFinacial is one of BE Group’s commitments after the deployment of transport services. Therefore, the partnership with VPBank is expected to bring a quick, secure and optimal payment solution for individual consumers and corporate customers, as well as more benefits to the drivers so they can rest assured to concentrate on their work,” said BE Group’s CEO Tran Thanh Hai.

BE Group said it will develop more delivery services and electronic wallets moving forwards. The ride-hailing app has had 4 million downloads, attracting about 30,000 drivers for an average of 200,000 trips every day. Its target is to have 100,000 drivers by the end of 2019.

VPBank is one of the fastest growing private commercial banks in Vietnam. The International Finance Corporation is a shareholder in the lender following a $57-million convertible loan in 2017. IFC  has also extended senior loans to VPBank in several chunks, aiming to boost access to financial services for local SMEs.

Vietnam’s fintech sector has seen a lot of action with Grab acquiring e-wallet Moca to develop its ecosystem in the country, and others such as MoMo and VNPay bagging large funding rounds.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.