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The Silicon Review Asia

‘Our Target Audience is Women and their Families’ : SeABank, a Vietnam-Based Leading Retail Banking Institution, Inks Roadmap to Lead Country’s Banking Sector

The Silicon Review
July, 2020

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“Our mission is to become everyone’s favorite bank in Vietnam.”

Banking institutions provide banking products and services to individuals, SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and large corporations and include services like daily banking services, cards, insurance, debit cards, savings, loans, etc. The decision to choose a particular bank to go with is a tough one as, on the surface; most banks seem to offer the same services and products. However, some banks become the obvious choice due to their transparency and excellent relationships with their clients. In light of the foregoing, we’re pleased to present SeABank.

SeABank is one of the leading groups of commercial joint-stock banks in Vietnam. It was established in 1994 and has gone 25 years of development to achieve its current achievements. It aims to become the most favorite leading bank in Vietnam with a diverse range of financial services and products for its customers.

Become the most favorite leading bank in Vietnam, providing full and diversified financial products and services for a wide range of customers is our vision in the next 5 years. We are committed to information transparency and providing excellent service, heading for optimization of customers’s benefits.

In Conversation with Lê Thu Thủy, SeABank CEO

Q. Please explain SeABank’s services in brief.

We provide a wide range of products and services to our customers including credit cards, insurance, internet banking services, etc. We are different from other banks because we have been tweaking a holistic approach for the last five years that other banks in the market are only starting to do now.

The second most important area for us is SME (small and medium enterprises). We are quite focused on SME. We studied the matrix of industries and narrowed it down to eight industries and have grown with SME in these industries for the past three years while monitoring the market and the industry. Our goal is to become the main serving bank for SMEs and help to grow it with a three to five-year business plan.

Q. The Internet Banking Process creates a lack of personal relationships with clients. How do you ensure the presence of personal relationships with clients?

I strongly believe in a hybrid strategy. According to our analysis, there is a lot of foot traffic in provinces but not as much in the main cities. Therefore, we have deployed the online channel strategy in these locations. A lot of people are talking about customer experiences and customer journeys currently. Our approach, in this regard, is that we have the right to market, educate, and persuade the customers to get on board a journey but we don’t have the right to push them towards the experience that we would like them to have. Again that depends on how they feel about it.

Besides, our mission is to become everyone’s favorite bank in Vietnam. It sounds big but we want our customers to choose us because they want to. I believe that banking is an emotional choice and not just an intelligent or analytical choice. That said, we have the mobile app and the internet banking channel and we’re trying to unite them into one channel.

Q. Who would you say is your target client base?

Our target audience is women and their families. I am not trying to eliminate men here but in Asia and specifically in Vietnam, women tend to hold the family’s finances. Therefore, if we get the woman of the family onboard, the rest of the family will follow. We would like to help women achieve the end-result of their financial plans.

Moreover, women have a unique way of maintaining and growing their social circles and have a strong influence on each other. That’s why our strategy in terms of the target audience is swayed more towards women and their families.

Q. How do you earn the confidence of your customers? How do you convince them that SeABank is the one to go with?

The first thing would be the transparency and bank’s integrity – it is one of our core values. Frauds can happen at any time and anywhere. Keeping that in view, we have set a very clear framework so that employees and clients know exactly where we’re aiming to reach. The second aspect is the stability in the bank’s shareholder structure and strategy as we don’t make frequent changes to the leadership roles. If an organization changes its CEO every year, it will impact the operations of the organization negatively. Moreover, it disrupts the trust the clients share with the organization. Bottom line: We as a bank need to maintain the relationship with our clients the way they prefer, and we are solely working to make that happen.

Q. What are some of the factors that contribute to the success of SeABank?

I think the key factor for us is our sustainable strategy, as mentioned above. Everything we do; risk management, commercial strategy, etc., is all aiming at sustainability. However, the most important factor for SeABank has been the bank’s unique culture. I may be a little biased to say that we have the strongest culture amongst all the banks around, but I am happy here considering what we do is aimed at serving our clients better.

Besides, once a direction is set and the work is laid out, the execution is the biggest question mark. It’s the people who execute these actions. We have an amazing team and they work passionately. I have been with the bank for 11 years and most of the managers in SeABank have been with us for about 10 years.

Q. What kind of a future do you see for SeABank?

We have a five-year plan that we constantly monitor. We would like to become the most prominent or the most favorite bank in Vietnam. Our goal is to be the best at what we do and make our employees and clients happy. SeABank is a great bank to be with.

Lê Thu Thủy – A Charismatic Leader

Lê Thu Thủy was appointed as the CEO in 2018 after 10 years of service at SeABank. She has held different positions at the bank before her appointment as the CEO. Ms. Thủy has ample experience with international financial and banking institutions, providing unique solutions.

“Women have a unique way of maintaining and growing their social circles and have a strong influence on each other. That’s why our strategy in terms of the target audience is swayed more towards women and their families.”

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