Monday , July 15 2024

Loans to small businesses a booming business

The business of providing loans to small and medium firms is booming in Vietnam with the rise of several platforms offering more accessible credit than traditional banks.

Bonbon shop, a platform that helps 35,000 grocery stores connect with over 24 major manufacturers, recently launched a credit option of up to VND200 million ($8,563) for stores to buy supplies.

The operator of the platform, DMSpro, has partnered with e-wallet SmartPay and lender VPBank to make the loans accessible.

EVNFinance, a credit provider unit of the national utility Vietnam Electricity, recently launched loan packages of up to VND500 million for 36 months.

It said borrowers could receive the money within eight hours of making their requests.

Several foreign credit platforms have been making their way into Vietnam since earlier this year.

Singapore-based fintech firm Validus entered Vietnam in January and appointed Dinh Van Binh, former vice chairman of Sacombank Investement, as its CEO.

Vishal Shah, chairman of Validus’ emerging markets, said Vietnam was one of its main markets and the company will continue to invest to expand its presence.

Also in January, Funding Societies, which claims to be the largest digital financing platform for small and medium companies (SMEs) in Southeast Asia, said that it had disbursed $20 million in loans in Vietnam and targets to increase this to $90 million this year and $1.3 billion in 2025.

The company estimates that Vietnam has a credit “gap” of around $58 billion in funding SMEs, referring to the amount of money that small and medium businesses have not been able to borrow because of administrative and other blocks.

Nearly 46.8 percent of companies in Vietnam reported difficulties in accessing traditional bank loans last year, compared to 40.7 in 2020, according to a report by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

Small companies often have to borrow money from friends or family or even assets to submit as collateral to raise capital, it added.

Because of these challenges, the SMEs credit market is set to be the next race of many finance organizations, said Hoang The Hung, deputy director of EVNFinance.

VPBank leaders said they have seen its funding for SMEs rising in the last six months as businesses restarted their operations and needed funds. They expect even stronger growth in the near future.

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