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Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — LienVietPostBank signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CARE International in Việt Nam to launch a pilot programme aimed at helping ethnic minority women access formal banking services.

The women will be able to access these services via a mobile application called Ví-Việt e-wallet.

Under the MoU signed on September 28, the two sides will select six self-managed financial groups in Thanh Nưa and Hua Thanh communes of the northern mountainous province of Điện Biên and train them to use Ví-Việt e-wallet for the following purposes — selling group shares, transferring money, lending and other services.

There are more than 30 self-managed financial groups comprising 900 members in the two communes, who are Thai ethnic minority people with low and unstable income ranging from VNĐ1-3 million (US$44-133) per month. 

The self-regulatory finance group is a collection of 15 to 30 members (mostly women) who make regular savings through the purchase of shares at regular meetings. These savings are used to lend with interest to members, who agree to develop their livelihood, promote business investment and spend on other purposes.

In Việt Nam, there are 1,500 self-managed financial groups of some 28,000 members, of which 111 groups are in Điện Biên Province, with about 3,000 members. This is a micro-finance model that CARE International has successfully researched and tested in many countries around the world, bringing significant benefits to its members through savings products, by profiting from the savings and gaining access to larger and longer term loans and facing low risk due to discipline of the self-governing group.

With LienVietPostBank, this programme will help increase the number of customers using the e-wallet in remote areas and support the development of this type of banking service. 

The partnership programme between LienVietPostBank and CARE International in Việt Nam is expected to be piloted from September to December 2017 in the province, and will then be expanded if it really brings social benefits, such as increase in access to formal financial services, capacity of savings and ability of ethnic minority women to do business.

This pilot programme is part of the project Comprehensive Financing for Ethnic Minority Women (FinLINK) currently funded by CARE in Việt Nam with support from Visa Inc. The main objective of the project is to help ethnic minority women access formal banking services through mobile platforms. — VNS

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