After last week recieving permission to incorporate a 100% owned retail bank in Vietnam, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has introduced the country's first mobile banking service as it looks to gain customers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
ANZ has been operating in Vietnam since 1993 with a foreign branch license and has deployed a small ATM network and online banking service. But last week it became the first foreign bank to be granted in principle a full local banking license by the State Bank of Vietnam after the sector was opened up by Vietnam's admission to the World Trade Organisation last year.
Following this, ANZ Vietnam has introduced a free mobile banking service, initially for customers in Hanoi and and Ho Chi Minh City. As well as introducing the mobile banking service, the bank plans to open four new branches by the end of this year, with further branch expansion planned beyond that.
According to research firm Research and Markets, mobile phone penetration in Vietnam in 2007 stood at 18.5% of the 85.2 million population. However it says subscribers are growing at a rapid rate - with about 800,000 new mobile users being added each month.
ANZ already offers mobile banking in New Zealand and launched a pilot mobile banking service in Australia in January this year, with a view to a full-scale commercial roll-out in the second half of 2008.