September 13, 2017
As companies and individuals all around the world take greater interest in blockchain, it is understandable to wonder if Vietnam is prepared to adopt the technology. Seamless Vietnam, a two-day conference in Saigon focused on e-commerce, payments and retail, provided proof that the country is prime for blockchain. Representatives from Infinity Blockchain Labs (IBL) were there to survey the landscape and lead conversations about how the technology can serve the country’s diverse financial needs.
Seamless is Asia’s largest and longest running conference focused on cards and payments. It brought together speakers from top companies across the region to engage in lectures, panels, exhibitions and conversations. The event was particularly interested in fostering discussions,debates and evaluations of alternative payment strategies and technologies. It brought in players from across the entire e-commerce value chain to serve as a catalyst for growth in regards to storefront creation, digital marketing, payment to fulfillment and delivery. Seamless also aimed to provide Vietnamese retail players with new ideas, technologies and exciting innovations.
Vietnam’s Promising Future
There is great reason to be optimistic for Vietnam’s future growth, as Seamless explained. They noted that of the more than 90 million people in the country, the average age is less than 31, over half of them are active internet users and English levels are increasingly high. E-commerce in the country has a penetration rate of 47.8% and grew 21% in 2016 alone. Card use and issuance is soaring alongside a rise in disposable income. All these positive realities mean that the way individuals and businesses conduct financial transactions is ripe for revolution. So how can blockchain serve as an accelerant?
Role of Blockchain
In its current nascent form, blockchain is a technology of hypotheticals. World leading consultant firm, Deloitte recently published article identifying ways in which blockchain can revolutionize financial systems. They predict the technology will innovate transfers and cross-border payments, contracts, identity management and customer loyalty / rewards systems. While many of the topics discussed at Seamless did not specifically address blockchain, they did involve the very areas Deloitte claims blockchain will profoundly improve. For example, in his keynote speech, Le Anh Dung, Division Director of the Payment Department at State Bank of Vietnam, discussed how Vietnam can be a cashless society by 2020. Khoi Le of Facebook talked about ways to take advantage of P2P and mobile marketplaces and Gen Lehn of CrayonGroup stressed the need for innovation to attract customers. Panel discussions included creating digital payment ecosystems, the future of e-logistics, remittances and alternate payments, harnessing big data, and shipment optimizations. Those familiar with the blockchain will recognize how the technology’s ability to quickly, securely and economically store and transfer data, applies to each of these topics.
Infinity Blockchain Labs at Seamless
Hoping to accelerate the adoption of blockchain in these areas, IBL was involved in the speeches and panels. On the first day Head of Corporate Marketing, Nicole Nguyen, gave a talk entitled “Blockchain and Untapped Business Opportunities for Startups in Vietnam.” The diverse audience consisted of players from a variety of industries including hotel management, ticketing, retail management and real estate with basic understanding of blockchain core principals. Nicole therefore began with a broad overview of the technology before transitioning to a survey of Vietnam’s blockchain landscape. She mentioned blockchain use metrics, the greatest obstacles for implementation and key industries most likely for early adoption. The full report will be released this week, and available on this website. On the second day of the event Nicole joined a roundtable discussion entitled “Assessing the Real Value of Blockchain in the Vietnamese Economy,” which allowed her a chance to move beyond the theoretical aspects of the technology and present tangible test cases. She described the specific ways in which blockchain can improve how real estate records are kept and contracts managed. She also discussed the value of blockchain in distributing and managing customer loyalty points, hotel bookings and remittances. The discussion represented a pivotal moment in which the gathered professionals could visualize what blockchain can do for their industries and thus it became more than just a vague idea.
Cris D. Tran, IBL’s Director of Projects, was also present to discuss the needs and challenges faced by people in different retail verticals. To this end, he participated in the panel, “The Transformation of Vietnamese Commerce Delivery in the Last Few Years.” Cris discussed with CEOs from Mitssy, Giao Hang Nhanh and Embe current problems including an over-reliance on inefficient cash-on-delivery payment models, hassles caused by an inability to accurately track couriers and general lack of infrastructure for cashless exchanges. Blockchain technologies and smart contracts can specifically address each of these issues. “What blockchain can do for payment is undeniable – reduce friction while not requiring a bank account. Surely in the future everything will be easier for customer, retailer, supplier and manufacturer,” he said when imagining the effects technology will have.
Seamless made clear to all in attendance that Vietnam has a bright future, but achieving it will require overcoming financial challenges that include a large percentage of people without bank accounts, an over-reliance on cash transactions and general inefficiencies in supply chains. As pioneers in the technology, IBL understands how the blockchain can solve these problems and will be a pivotal partner for incubation and adoption. By dialoguing at the conference with industry leaders and players, the R&D company took important steps towards having blockchain evolve the country’s retail, e-commerce and payment sectors.
You can learn more about Infinity Blockchain Labs and stay current with our activities by visiting our website and social media accounts below:
LinkedIn: Infinity Blockchain Labs
Contact: Nicole Nguyen PR@blockchainlabs.asia