Challenges in Entering the Vietnam’s Fintech Market

Vietnam's Fintech Market Challenges

Vietnam, a Southeast Asian nation with a population of over 99 million people, is experiencing a boom in its fintech industry. With a young, tech-savvy population and increasing mobile phone penetration, Vietnam presents a lucrative market for fintech companies looking to expand their reach. In January 2023, Vietnam had a total of 77.93 million Internet users, reaching an Internet usage rate of 79.1% of the total population. According to Kepios analysis, the number of Internet users in Vietnam has increased by 5.3 million (+7.3 percent) compared to 2022.However, entering the Vietnamese fintech market also comes with its own set of challenges.

The Rise of Vietnamese Fintech

Vietnam’s fintech industry has seen significant growth in recent years. According to Statista in 2023, the industry was valued at $35 billion and is expected to reach $60 billion by 2028. This growth is driven by several factors, including:




Digital Payments



Neo Banking



Digital Capital Rising






  1. A Large and Growing Young Population: Vietnam has a median age of 32, one of the lowest in the world. This young population is tech-savvy and increasingly comfortable using digital financial services.
  2. Increasing Mobile Phone Penetration: According to Statista, in the third quarter of 2022, around 98 percent of the internet users in Vietnam owned mobile phones, with almost all of these phones being smartphones, which means that most Vietnamese people have access to a mobile phone, which can be used to access financial services.
  3. Government Support: The Vietnamese government is supportive of the fintech industry and has implemented several initiatives to promote its growth.

Challenges for Fintech in Vietnam

  1. According to Techsciresearch, Ho Chi Minh City has become a prominent hub in Vietnam’s fintech market. In 2022, 263 fintech firms were operating in Vietnam, which was the highest number at the time.
  2. In majority Ho Chi Minh City acts as a Vietnam’s fintech hub and holds immense potential. However, an overemphasis on Ho Chi Minh City could create a labor imbalance, draining talent from other regions and hindering their development.
  3. It is crucial to recognize the significance of extending fintech’s focus beyond Tier 1 cities, to ensure the inclusion of unbanked and underbanked populations in rural areas.
  4. Entering the Vietnamese market as a new fintech, grappling with the language barrier is a notable challenge, impeding effective communication with potential users, partners, and regulatory authorities. Addressing this obstacle is crucial for establishing a strong foothold and fostering successful integration into Vietnam’s dynamic fintech landscape.

Strategies for Success

Despite the challenges, there are several strategies that foreign fintech companies can use to increase their chances of success in the Vietnamese market. These strategies include:

  1. Competition and Collaboration: The Vietnamese fintech sector is becoming increasingly crowded as both local and international players vie for market share. Intense competition necessitates a thorough understanding of local preferences and needs. Simultaneously, fostering collaborations with existing financial institutions, local businesses, and regulatory bodies can facilitate smoother market entry, providing valuable insights and potential synergies.
  2. Focusing on a Market Beyond Cities: From the above data set we understood that now it is important for foreign companies to focus beyond cities where they can have a competitive advantage. Thus, for new market entrants fostering fintech hubs in other regions can create a more balanced talent pool and investment distribution. Targeted outreach programs can improve financial inclusion and equip rural populations with the knowledge to utilize fintech solutions.
  3. Building a Strong Brand: Building a strong brand is essential for success in any market, but it is especially important in Vietnam, where consumers are brand-conscious.
  4. Complying With Regulations: It is important for foreign companies to comply with all applicable regulations in order to avoid penalties and fines.
  5. Talent Acquisition and Localization: Securing skilled talent familiar with both the fintech landscape and the local market is another challenge. Recruiting individuals with a deep understanding of Vietnamese culture, language, consumer behavior, and regulatory nuances is essential for tailoring products and services effectively.


While Vietnam’s fintech market presents immense opportunities, navigating its dynamic landscape requires careful consideration of regulatory, cultural, and infrastructural factors. ASEAN Business Partners can help navigate successful entry hinges on proactive engagement with local stakeholders, adapting to evolving regulatory frameworks, and tailoring solutions to meet the unique needs of Vietnamese consumers. Fintech companies that can effectively address these challenges are poised to thrive in one of Southeast Asia’s most promising markets.

About the Author

Thao Nguyen

Thao Nguyen is ABP’s Country Manager – Vietnam. She is a dynamic leader with over 27 years of experience working for both global and local banks in Vietnam. Over the course of her career Thao has held senior leadership roles at HSBC, Citibank, ANZ, Techcombank and VIB