Mizuho Bank supports MoMo, Vietnam’s leading financial platform
Fostering growth and building the future of Asian retail finance

Mizuho Digital Transformation

September 7, 2023


Mizuho Bank has invested in M-Service, the leading digital payment company in Vietnam with a share of over 60% of the country’s mobile payment market. This investment targets Mizuho’s goals of contributing to financial inclusion in Asia through new, digital technology-focused financial services and of expanding our business portfolio in the region. M-Service has developed the super-app “MoMo” based on its vision of “contributing to financial inclusion in Vietnam through technology.” Providing our experience, expertise and networks, Mizuho is helping strengthen and develop M-Service’s financial service business while also striving to generate new business.

Contributing to digital transformation-based economic growth in Asia
Mizuho has invested in M-Service, Vietnam’s third unicorn

The digital transformation wave has rapidly accelerated the shift toward a cashless society, with mobile payments becoming an everyday part of our lives. This trend is not limited to Japan either. The same thing is happening across Asia, with many countries even further down this road. 

Under these circumstances, Mizuho is leveraging the power of local players with strengths in the digital domain as we strive to contribute to financial inclusion through the provision of digital technology-focused financial services while also expanding our business portfolio with an eye to capturing Asian economic growth. Financial inclusion involves providing everyone with the financial services needed to partake in everyday economic activity. Some people are in a precarious economic situation owing to their exclusion from financial services due to poverty or discrimination, for example. Financial inclusion aims to help these people access basic financial services. As part of this initiative, in December 2021 Mizuho Bank acquired shares in Online Mobile Services Joint Stock Company (“M-Service”), a digital payment company with a share of over 60% of Vietnam’s mobile payment market.

M-Service is the Vietnamese digital payment company behind the mobile payments app MoMo. With a focus on digital wallet functions, M-Service has developed convenient, affordable services that cover all aspects of daily life. It also enables users to open a bank account completely online at some of the firm’s partner banks. This can be done without the need to fill in or submit any paper forms. This user-first approach has seen user numbers surge, with M-Service becoming Vietnam’s third unicorn in 2021.

The company has a vision of “contributing to financial inclusion in Vietnam through technology.” With an expansive network of affiliated stores and partner financial institutions, the company has built up the largest payments ecosystem in Vietnam. By providing access to our banking expertise and local networks, Mizuho helping strengthen and develop M-Service’s financial service business while also striving to generate new business.


Not just an electronic wallet!
From cinema tickets to holiday arrangements
MoMo’s business strategy as an app is deeply entwined with daily life in Vietnam

MoMo’s pink logo is a common sight at convenience store and restaurant cash registers across Vietnam. MoMo originally grew its user base as Vietnam’s first electronic wallet app, but it has subsequently rolled out a variety of payment services covering all aspects of daily life, from P2P transfers and utility bill payments to purchasing cinema tickets, airline tickets, and making donations. Its service lineup has recently expanded into financial services, such as loans and insurance, too. In this way, this “super-app” has permeated the lives of Vietnamese people. The bank account penetration rate is quite low in Vietnam and there are many different ways of transferring money. One feature of MoMo is how it integrates these different means into one app. MoMo also uses AI analysis to facilitate buy-now-pay-later payments and installments, things Vietnamese financial institutions struggle to provide en masse to individuals. MoMo’s biggest strength lies in the data it holds on its 36 million users (out of a population of 100 million in Vietnam). The reliable user data garnered from its robust eKYC (electronic know your customer) processes and the big data on payments obtained through Vietnam’s largest network of affiliated stores provide the foundations for firm-Service’s advanced digital marketing. In particular, users can get discounts or special gifts at affiliated stores by presenting electronic vouchers earned by watching video commercials on the app. This helps to build ties between users and affiliated stores, with the app’s ecosystem expanding as a result. Furthermore, a new initiative led by Mizuho Bank involves exploring ways to grow the customer base by integrating big data in coordination with other platforms. By developing convenient services rooted in daily life, MoMo has already become an indispensable app for many Vietnamese people. As an example of fintech, it is already more advanced than many Japanese payment services.


Expanding the data business and pursuing growth
Local initiatives pursued by Mizuho Bank and MoMo

Following Mizuho’s capital investment, MoMo and the staff seconded from Mizuho are pursuing two major initiatives. The first involves working with firms to increase the number of situations in which MoMo can be used. As Vietnam’s leading payment platform, MoMo naturally receives inquiries from Vietnamese companies, but many Japanese firms are unaware of other MoMo services besides mobile payments. Mizuho Bank is leveraging personal credit services (such as loans and installment payments) and other digital marketing domains besides mobile payments to make approaches to Japanese firms. By acting as a bridge, Mizuho can help to expand M-Service’s ecosystem. The second initiative involves promoting tie-ups with Vietcombank, Vietnam’s largest commercial bank and another firm in which Mizuho has invested. There is a big cultural difference between Vietcombank, a major bank that prioritizes trust and stability, and M-Service, an up-and-coming unicorn, but Mizuho is striving to mediate between the two firms and strengthen their partnership. Specifically, MoMo lacks a financial license, so it will act as the first point of contact while sharing its scoring model with Vietcombank. Vietcombank will then conduct screenings and make loan decisions based on this model, with the two firms working together to build a financial service that Vietcombank would otherwise be unable to provide on its own. Through these initiatives, Mizuho will help build an environment that enables many more Vietnamese people to enjoy the convenience of MoMo’s services.


A better society through technology
Mizuho Bank’s vision for the future of Asian retail finance

MoMo and Mizuho Bank will accelerate their initiatives going forward. One such initiative will involve the further utilization of MoMo’s payment data. The plan is to boost involvement in social infrastructure operations (such as public services and urban development) while building up big data through collaborations with other platforms and external partners. We will also seek to create a new digital marketing world with roots in Vietnam. We are searching for ways to feed information obtained from MoMo back to Mizuho Bank’s mobile payment service J-Coin Pay or our online consumer banking service Mizuho Direct. The eventual goal is to import the dynamism and expertise of Vietnam’s fintech sector back into Japan, a dynamism and expertise built not on technology itself but mainly on agile development through repeated trials and implementations on a small scale. Mizuho has also invested in local digital based players in the Philippines and Indonesia. By acting as a conduit between all these firms, we will also contribute to the development of retail finance across Asia. Mizuho’s corporate tagline is “Innovating today. Transforming tomorrow.” In the rapidly-changing world of Asian retail finance, Mizuho will support MoMo’s new initiatives while continuing to evolve ourselves to meet numerous challenges. MoMo and Mizuho will grow together as we seek a better future for finance and society.

Text and photographs: Mizuho DX Editorial Department


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