Unified financial switching center will be created after December 30.
The Vietnam National Financial Switching JSC (Banknetvn) will sign a merger contract with the Smartlink Card JSC (Smartlink) and serve the entire retail banking system. The new company will operate from early 2015 under the name Banknetvn. The merger of the two bank card issuers is expected to help Vietnam’s banks save on resources and reduce infrastructure investment costs.
Payment transactions and money transfer will become more convenient and faster, and there will be no discrimination towards customers. Customers also have the opportunity to enjoy many benefits from modern payment methods.
The Prime Minister (PM) has signed a decision to waiver regulation on monopolies for the two companies for a period of five years. The decision was the final and most important condition for the merger of the two largest card associations in Vietnam to go ahead.
SBV remains largest shareholder
Banknetvn was established in July 2004, consisting of eight founding shareholders, including three State-owned commercial banks - Agribank, BIDV and Vietinbank - four commercial joint stock banks - DongA Bank, the Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank, ACB, Sacombank - and the Vietnam Data Communication Company (VDC).
On March 30, 2010, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), as the representative of State-owned capital, contributed VND31.5 billion ($1.5 million) to Banknevnn, raising its capital to VND126 billion ($6 million).
Smartlink, meanwhile, was founded by Vietcombank and 15 other commercial bank in July 2007 with the aim of professionalizing and diversifying payment transaction and non-cash payments. Before merging with Banknevnn, Smartlink worked with 51 banks and financial institutions, aviation, telecommunications and large enterprises in Vietnam to provide payment services on electronic trading channels such as ATM, POS, mobile phone, and internet.
After merging, the largest shareholder of the new company remains the SBV, which is tasked with developing infrastructure for the retail banking system and promoting non-cash payments in Vietnam.