Advanced tech for competitive edge
The application of advanced and modern technologies will support service quality enhancement, new services development, and business processes. Lotte Finance general director Kim Jong Geuk talked with VIR’s Ngan Ha about how the group’s finance company gains competitiveness to fulfil its commitments to Vietnamese consumers.
How healthy, in your view, is the current state of the country’s consumer finance market?
Vietnam is one of the countries with the most potential in consumer finance across the entire world. The population is about 97 million, with more than half being young people with a high consumption rate. Thus, the country can be seen as in the middle of a golden development age.
The room for development of the Vietnamese consumer finance market is still vast, as the market penetration is at a low rate of 25-30 per cent, and a lot of rural areas are still untouched. With an average annual growth rate of 50-65 per cent, and forecasts to reach VND1 quadrillion ($43.48 billion) in 2019, the country’s consumer finance market is attracting the interest of both domestic and foreign investors.
The application of advanced technology also adds excitement to the market. It allows companies to gain a competitive edge by effectively supporting the improvement of service quality, new development in services, and business process enhancements.
I also see that this industry is contributing well to social development. Thanks to the new product and service development of financial companies, more and more Vietnamese people have the chance to access official resources of consumer finance.
Besides this attractiveness, the Vietnamese consumer finance market also faces various challenges and barriers, among which are risk management and low customer awareness of these fairly new financial services.
How exactly do advanced technologies help to provide advantages for firms?
Any new company to Vietnam will have to cope with many challenges, of which the biggest in consumer finance is risk management. That is because the available information for verifying customer data in Vietnam is currently quite limited.
With years of experience inherited from its mother company in South Korea, Lotte Finance takes advantage of our technology foundation to overcome this obstacle. Specifically, we make significant investments in developing an effective underwriting process and customer information appraisal system, based on advanced credit management technology like fintech, and Big Data.
Our scoring system helps us to screen and shortlist customers effectively. Based on that, we can make rational lending decisions which are appropriate and safe to both our company and customers. This also helps to minimise credit risks in the next period. We ensure our scoring and appraisal systems are continually developed and updated so as to respond quickly to changes and promptly detect new risks arising along with the new market trends.
In addition, we also target customer groups who have a good credit history or ones under employment with our partner companies and Lotte Group affiliates, which allow us to filter customers effectively.
The advanced South Korean credit management technology and years-long experience in financial services also place a solid foundation for our continued challenges and innovations, to offer a wide range of unique consumer experiences and financial products tailored to Vietnamese customers’ lifestyle. Our various consumer loan products also allow Lotte Finance to meet the demands of a wide range of customers here in Vietnam.
Besides offering helpful and convenient products, we believe that service from our heart will touch the hearts of customers. Hence, customer service quality has always been one of our key pillars. Lotte Finance has strongly invested in advanced credit management technology so as to enhance our customer experience and happiness during their journeys with us.
We try to make sure our consultation service is accessible 24/7, and we provide our customers with full and clear information for any of their confident financial decisions with Lotte Finance.
To achieve that, we place a significant focus on developing and maintaining helpful and friendly communication channels that help our customers reach us anytime, anywhere, such as Lotte Finance Apps, a hotline, web chats, and a Facebook fan page. Our well-developed customer service procedures, as well as highly-qualified officers, are there at all times giving customers a hand whenever they need us. Our customers’ rights and benefits, therefore, are always at the highest level.
What changes or features have Lotte Finance recently introduced into Vietnam in order to cater to people here?
Lotte Finance entered the Vietnamese market in 2018, with the aim of becoming a friendly financial service provider and strategic partner who brings great values to the community that we serve.
Being a Lotte Group company, Lotte Finance offers our customers not only lifestyle financial products and services that help maximise value, but also a wide range of unique experiences featuring the consumer-friendly infrastructure of Lotte Group in Vietnam, as well as other countries.
As part of our continued efforts, Lotte Finance recently launched credit card products with attractive features and benefits such as annual fee cashback for life, free message services, and unlimited bonus L.Point accumulation. L.Point is a member card of Lotte Members Vietnam, an affiliate of Lotte Group. These international-standard Visa cards are also perfect choices for overseas travel, especially to South Korea. Cardholders will be awarded up to a 3 per cent bonus for all transactions at Lotte in South Korea and from 0.7-1 per cent bonus points for all transactions in any other foreign country.
Owning a Lotte Finance Visa Platinum with a credit limit of over VND100 million ($4,350) and carrying out transactions within three most recent months, the cardholder will be exempt from financial proof when applying for a South Korean tourist visa and offered free travel insurance worldwide, with benefits of up to VND10.5 billion ($456,500). Furthermore, Lotte credit cards are extremely secure thanks to the application of the latest Visa chip technology.
To that end, the launch of our credit card plays an important role in positioning our premium brand of Lotte Finance in the market, at the same time demonstrating the company’s commitments and efforts for the sake of our customers’ wealth and values. I also believe that this launch is very helpful in promoting the non-cash payment system in particular and the development of Vietnam’s consumer finance market in general.
Moving forwards, Lotte Finance will continue to challenge ourselves to create more convenient and helpful financial products that are suitable for the lifestyle of our customers. We wish to become a trusted and beloved financial partner of all Vietnamese people.