Through a series of newly issued regulations and access to the national population database, banks are preparing to enhance their online money-lending services. According to Deputy Governor Pham Tien Dung of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the utilisation of the national population database will enable banks to conveniently verify and authenticate the information of new customers, streamlining the process.
Commercial banks will promote lending services on their electronic platforms based on this database. The proposed amendments to the Law on Credit Institutions contain numerous regulations that specifically address banking services conducted through electronic devices.
For quite some time, many banks have been providing online lending services, primarily for small loans. However, the legal status of this lending model has not been explicitly defined in the law. As a result, banks have been engaging in online lending with concerns that the lending contracts may be deemed invalid in the event of a legal dispute.
Furthermore, banks have been hesitant to promote online lending due to the presence of a significant volume of junk data and virtual accounts. With the establishment of the national population database, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has collaborated with the Ministry of Public Security to authenticate 25 million customers in the credit information database. SBV aims to verify the remaining 26 million customers within the coming months.
Possessing such a vast pool of clean customer data presents banks with a valuable opportunity to promote digital services and products, particularly online lending. Granting banks access to the population database, coupled with the establishment of a comprehensive legal framework for digital banking, represents a significant opportunity for the banking industry to experience robust growth in the future. A well-defined legal framework and a reliable database serve as the fundamental pillars for enabling all banks to operate effectively within the digital landscape.
Previously, banks exercised caution in engaging in online lending due to the presence of unverified and unreliable information within the customer database. Another problem is the automatic credit appraisal and approval due to data limitations and unclear legal basis. Furthermore, the lack of comprehensive customer information posed difficulties in effectively collecting debts.
Accessing the national population database and implementing an automated appraisal and approval mechanism allow state-owned joint-stock commercial banks to address these issues. It enables individuals to conveniently obtain online banking loans at reasonable interest rates.
The traditional lending process involved multiple steps and consumed significant time and human resources. However, with the extensive customer data available to banks and the national population database, there is a hope to enhance the speed of loan processing procedures and strengthen risk management measures. This advancement allows for more efficient lending operations, reducing delays and streamlining the overall process.
Several banks have coordinated with the Police Department for Administrative Management of Social Order (C06) under the Ministry of Public Security to start testing a citizen credit scoring system based on population data. As an initial step, banks intend to offer unsecured loans for small amounts using the citizen credit scoring system. This approach will promote the retail lending of the banks.
To ensure a seamless integration between the banking system, VNeID (the electronic identification application), and the citizen credit scoring system, it is crucial for the Ministry of Public Security to promptly update the population data. State management agencies must also adjust relevant legal provisions to create favourable conditions for providing loans in the digital environment.
Dr Tan See Leng, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry launched the Jobs Transformation Map (JTM) for Retail as a guiding resource to help retail companies plan and ensure that their workforce is equipped with the necessary skill sets to meet evolving business needs.
Following the release of the Retail Industry Transformation Map (ITM) 2025 in October last year, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) collaborated with the Ministry of Manpower to create the JTM, which was supported by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).
Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), in collaboration with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), has been designated as a programme partner for the Jobs Skills Integrator for Retail (JSIT-R).
The JSIT-R is a dedicated intermediary that offers retailers end-to-end solutions for workforce transformation, staff training, and job matching services. When engaging with retailers, the JSIT-R will consult the JTM.
Retail trade associations and chambers (TACs) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SNEF and NTUC to demonstrate their support for the JSIT-R and the implementation of the JTM. TACs are committed to reaching out to and collaborating with over 1,100 member companies and other retailers to accelerate employment transformation for their workforce of about 94,000 employees.
To ensure that the Retail sector can continue to attract and retain talent while also creating quality jobs, a study was conducted to identify future industry trends as well as anticipate how future job roles and required skill sets must change to create new opportunities and meet evolving business needs.
Four major trends and opportunities have been identified:
- Shifts in consumer needs as a result of changes in lifestyle, preferences, and awareness;
- Emergence of new retail models (e.g., omnichannel, customer-centric retail experience, and innovative business model) that enable enhanced brand and shopping experiences;
- Using data analytics and improvements in retail technology to increase productivity and efficiency;
- Create a resilient and agile supply chain to improve inventory management and enable more fulfilling alternatives in an increasingly complicated and turbulent supply chain environment.
The JTM analysis highlighted existing work roles that are likely to change somewhat or significantly, such as sales associates and store managers. Changes such as new technology and shifting consumer needs will transform these jobs.
A fundamental recommendation in the JTM report for adapting to these trends and technology improvements is to transform the workforce through human capital development programmes that include training, job redesign, and skills-based career progression pathways.
Such efforts would allow employees to focus on more value-added work and plan their evolution, which would help the growth of businesses.
Some emerging job roles include Sustainability Specialist, Product Innovator, Customer Experience Manager, Customer Intelligence Analyst, Omni-channel Manager, Digital Marketer, Digital Transformation Manager, UI/UX Designer and Full Stack Developer.
Further, retailers can stay competitive in a continuously changing industry by utilising data analytics and developments in retail technology. It helps them to provide personalised experiences, optimise operations, and boost customer satisfaction, resulting in higher profitability and long-term success.
The utilisation of data analytics and improvements in retail technology is critical for merchants looking to increase productivity and efficiency. Retailers can obtain important insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and market trends by leveraging the power of data analytics.
This data enables them to make data-driven decisions, improve inventory management, personalise marketing efforts, and improve overall operational efficiency.
The Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) has announced their plan to introduce the VinaPhone 5G service during the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival (DIFF 2023), which is scheduled for 2 June to 8 July.
The purpose of this initiative is to enable visitors to spread the festive atmosphere and experience by live-streaming fireworks performances at the highest transmission speed of up to 2.2Gbps, which is ten times faster on average compared to the existing 4G network.
Throughout the festival, festival-goers will have convenient access to the VinaPhone 5G service at various locations, including Dragon Bridge, Bach Dang Street, Tran Hung Dao Street, and the surrounding areas. Individuals can also utilise VinaPhone 5G for an array of online experiences such as streaming movies, listening to music, or participating in online conferences.
According to VNPT, the inclusion of the VinaPhone 5G service at the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival (DIFF) holds significance as it commemorates the 27th anniversary of the establishment of the VinaPhone network (26 June 1996 – 26 June 2023). This marks the first time VinaPhone 5G service is being introduced at DIFF. Apart from providing customers with a high-speed internet experience, the 5G service also serves to showcase advanced telecommunications technology to international visitors and festival attendees.
To avail themselves of the VinaPhone 5G service, individuals possessing 5G-enabled devices will need to activate the 5G feature on their phones. They can do this by texting “DK 5G” to the number 888 to access it.
In April, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) announced an auction for frequencies within the 2300-2400 MHz waveband. This initiative was designed to facilitate the progress of network operators in deploying and enhancing their 4G and 5G technologies. The starting price set for this waveband was VND 12.88 billion (US$ 548,481) per MHz per annum, and each company had the opportunity to bid for up to 30 MHz. The companies are allowed to use the wavebands for 15 years for 4G and 5G purposes.
The auction was open to not only mobile service providers but also other telecommunication companies that met the specified requirements. Consequently, the auction allowed for the entry of new players utilising 4G and 5G technologies into the mobile market. Even companies without existing licenses for telecom services were allowed to apply to MIC for evaluation and consideration of their eligibility to participate in the auction. This inclusiveness enabled a wider range of entities to join the telecommunications sector potentially.
As OpenGov Asia reported, upon successfully winning the auction and paying the fees in full and on time, the businesses were awarded licenses to use frequencies and offer telecommunication services. These companies, which participated in the auction for the usage rights of radio frequencies within the 2300-2400 MHz waveband, gained the ability to establish networks and provide telecommunication services employing either IMT-Advanced (4G) or IMT-2020 (5G) technologies.
Recently, at the 31st meeting of the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) Wireless Group, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Pham Duc Long, discussed the management of potential frequency bands for 6G technology, the effective management of broadband satellite beams, expanding wireless internet coverage through band extensions, and the advancements and implications of 5G technology.
He said that the world is currently confronted with a range of complex issues in the era of wireless devices. APT, in response, is committed to collaborating with member countries to address these problems and effectively overcome the associated challenges.
A*STAR, in collaboration with a local F&B-centric robotics and automation SME, has developed a joint research and innovation initiative to foster innovation in robotic platforms for the Food Services industry.
This programme will combine both parties’ Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre’s (ARTC) skills to develop solutions that incorporate Food and Beverage (F&B) domain knowledge, as well as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and automation.
The F&B-centric robotics and automation SME and A*STAR’s ARTC will invest S$3.5 million in developing a modular vision platform that can assist robotised operations in F&B by assisting these robots to self-navigate and self-calibrate in dynamic and space-constrained environments such as restaurant kitchens.
The combined effort will also use a digital twin platform to establish a digital representation of the F&B robotic system, allowing for real-time analytics that enables remote monitoring and optimisation of operations, accelerating the deployment of new robotic systems and decreasing operational downtime.
The combined research and innovation project embodies both A*STAR’s and the firm’s desire to leverage mutual capabilities to perform research combining F&B domain expertise, robotics, automation, AI, vision, and digital twin technologies.
The partnership is sure that the technology they produce will assist support and building the digital and automation capabilities of F&B firms. Besides, they believe that this will help Singapore establish itself as a major F&B robotics and automation hub, increase the efficiency of Food Service personnel, and help address the sector’s manpower problem and rising operational expenses.
The collaborative effort intends to create solutions that will enable the Food Services industry to automate operations and boost efficiency, lowering the amount of repetitious and physically demanding work and allowing F&B personnel to focus on higher-value jobs.
A*STAR’s ARTC engages with local enterprises to co-develop breakthrough technologies and co-innovate industry solutions to seize new growth possibilities locally and worldwide, according to Dr David Low, CEO of A*STAR’s ARTC.
He added that such public-private collaborations are critical in bringing complementary expertise together to address problem statements and increase productivity and efficiency in the Fast-Moving Food Services industry and beyond.
The Food Services business is set to expand and evolve further. Digitalisation and automation are critical to assisting F&B businesses in thriving and overcoming obstacles such as a labour shortage.
This collaboration will develop solutions to assist F&B enterprises in optimising their operations. They anticipate more similar cooperation between innovation and IT ecosystem partners to boost F&B company growth.
Drive innovation is critical for the food services industry because it has the potential to revolutionise operations and address significant concerns. Innovation serves as fuel for growth and sustainability in an era characterised by technical advancements and shifting consumer expectations.
Automation streamlines operations and reduces reliance on manual labour. Tasks such as food preparation, cooking, and serving can be carried out more efficiently by adding robotics, AI, and automation technology, resulting in higher productivity and lower operational expenses.
Improved consumer experiences are made possible by innovation. From self-ordering kiosks and smartphone apps to personalised recommendations and delivery drones, technology advancements improve consumer convenience, speed, and personalisation. This results in increased client happiness and loyalty, which ultimately drives corporate success.
It is also critical in addressing labour shortages. With rising labour costs and a diminishing workforce, automation and robotics provide options to fill the gaps, allowing food service enterprises to remain efficient and successful.
In addition, food service industry innovation can reduce environmental effects. Through innovative technologies, sustainable practices such as waste reduction, energy efficiency, and eco-friendly packaging solutions can be integrated, leading to a greener and more socially responsible industry.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has issued Directive No. 18/CT-TTg, which aims to enhance data connectivity and sharing to foster the growth of e-commerce, prevent tax loss, and safeguard monetary security.
The directive acknowledged that the rapid expansion of the e-commerce market has presented significant challenges in effectively managing e-commerce activities and tax administration. It emphasised the need for close collaboration among specialised management agencies to regulate payment transactions and verify the information of businesses, individuals, and taxpayers in response to the evolving digital business landscape.
The Prime Minister has assigned specific tasks to various ministries and agencies in the directive. They will enhance efficiency and facilitate digital transformation in the governance of e-commerce activities, digital platform trading, cross-border business, and data sharing among ministries and agencies for the advancement of e-commerce.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has been assigned the responsibility to collaborate with other relevant ministries in the process of amending legal documents pertaining to e-commerce. This includes streamlining administrative procedures and implementing strict measures to address tax and customs violations.
It has also been assigned the responsibility of developing a comprehensive plan for data connection and sharing with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS), the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), and other relevant agencies. This plan aims to strengthen tax administration for e-commerce activities and the provision of cross-border digital products and services. The deadline for completing this plan is set for the third quarter of this year.
MoIC is tasked with coordinating efforts among ministries and agencies to standardise, digitise, connect, and share data pertaining to e-commerce. SBV has been directed to collaborate with MoF and other relevant agencies to establish a mechanism for overseeing payment transactions. This mechanism will specifically support tax administration for cross-border service provision, in accordance with the Law on Tax Administration and other related legislations.
MoPS has been urged to accelerate the integration of the national population database with the databases and information systems of ministries, agencies, and local authorities. This integration is crucial for implementing e-identification and e-authentication systems. The MoPS is also tasked with collaborating with relevant agencies to refine specialised laws and policies that safeguard e-commerce development and monetary security, as well as prevent tax loss.
The Government Office will coordinate with relevant ministries in continuing to promote the integration and provision of online public services, and online payment in the fields of taxation and e-commerce on the National Public Service Portal.
Earlier this week, SBV urged banks, foreign bank branches, and intermediaries in payment services to actively support the advancement of cashless transactions and the implementation of the national digital transformation programme.
The move aims to aid the plan on developing the application of resident data and electronic identification and authentication to support the national digital transformation agenda during the period of 2022-2025, with a vision extending to 2030.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the banks, foreign bank branches, and intermediaries in payment services will persist in their efforts to devise favourable programmes and policies concerning payment and intermediary payment service fees for customers. The SBV has also urged them to waive account maintenance fees and cash withdrawal fees for customers entitled to the social security policy. They have been instructed to proactively engage in practical initiatives to commemorate Cashless Day 2023, which takes place on 16 June, and to continue their efforts throughout the entire month.
The government has introduced the Electronics Repair Services Outsourcing (ERSO) Pilot initiative, in alignment with the Prime Minister’s overarching goal of positioning India as a leading force in the global electronics industry. This initiative aims to validate certain transformational policy and process changes to make the country the repair capital of the world, according to a press release.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) have collaborated closely with the industry to implement policy and procedural reforms. These changes are intended to position India as the most appealing destination for repairing information and communication technology (ICT) products on a global scale. It is anticipated that within the next five years, India’s Electronics Repair Services Outsourcing industry will generate revenues of up to US $20 billion and create millions of job opportunities in the country.
The release claimed that the project is a game changer and has garnered substantial government support with the aim of establishing India as a global frontrunner in an unexplored domain.
In the past few months, various government departments have introduced the necessary policy and process changes for the ERSO initiative. These changes have been developed through extensive discussions with the repair industry and are currently undergoing validation to assess their effectiveness and efficiency. To facilitate this validation, a limited pilot programme has been launched in Bengaluru and will last for three months. Five prominent companies have volunteered to help the pilot. Following the completion of the pilot, a comprehensive evaluation will be conducted, and adjustments to the process and policy will be made as necessary.
Aligning with the Prime Minister’s call to uphold Mission LiFE, the ERSO initiative is expected to bring about a revolutionary transformation in global environmental sustainability. It reaffirms India’s dedication to safeguarding the environment and preserving the planet, the release noted. By facilitating affordable and dependable repairs for ICT products on a global scale, the ERSO initiative will significantly contribute to extending the lifespan of devices worldwide.
Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), envisioned by the Prime Minister at the Climate Change Conference (COP26), emphasises mindful and deliberate utilisation instead of mindless and wasteful consumption. More than 100,000 LiFE-related events have taken place across India mobilising over 1.7 million individuals to take pro-planet actions. These include cleanliness drives, bicycle rallies, plantation drives, LiFE marathons, plastic collection drives, composting workshops, and taking a LiFE pledge. Many schools and colleges are also undertaking cultural competitions such as street plays, essays, paintings, and youth parliaments.
Recently, the Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change launched the Meri LiFE mobile application. The move aimed to catalyse youth action for climate change as a build-up to World Environment Day on 5 June.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the app monitors the progress of Mission LiFE. Once users sign up, they will be guided to engage in a range of LiFE-related tasks under five themes: Save Energy, Save Water, Reduce Single-Use Plastic, Adopt Sustainable Food Systems, and Adopt Healthy Lifestyles. Through a gamified approach, the app encourages individuals to take part in the “5 for 5 challenge,” which entails undertaking five LiFE actions leading up to World Environment Day.
The Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) and a major cloud computing company have announced the launch of the Artificial Intelligence Government Cloud Cluster (AGCC), a comprehensive platform designed to accelerate AI adoption in Singapore’s public sector, advance local applied AI research efforts and support the growth of the local AI startup ecosystem.
The AGCC has been implemented by SNDGO and the cloud tech company for usage by Singapore’s government agencies and the research, innovation, and enterprise (RIE) ecosystem. The AGCC is hosted in Singapore in a specialised cloud computing environment.
Agencies can use the AGCC to build and deploy scalable and impactful AI applications rapidly, safely, ethically, and cost-effectively by leveraging an AI technology stack and a vast partner ecosystem of software-as-a-service firms, consultancies, and AI startups. AI technology stack capabilities include:
First, an AI-optimised infrastructure. High-performance A2 supercomputers powered by NVIDIA’s A100 GPUs and hosted in an open, scalable, secure, and energy-efficient infrastructure. This enables cloud developers to train computationally complex AI models at fast speeds while minimising costs and environmental impact.
Customisable first-party, third-party, and open-source AI models follow. A central repository enabling AI practitioners to access pre-trained generative AI models, with built-in features to assist users in customising these models for specific requirements.
The repository contains a wide range of first-party, third-party, and open-source models designed for certain needs. These include models for summarising and translating text in different languages, sustaining an ongoing discussion, converting audio to text, producing, and modifying software code, and generating and repairing written descriptions.
International AI businesses interested in making their foundation models available to Singapore government departments can collaborate with the Cloud computing company to store these models in the repository.
Another category is no-code AI development tools. A Generative AI App Builder enabling developers (especially those with limited technical expertise) to swiftly construct and seamlessly embed chatbots and enterprise search experiences driven by Cloud’s generative AI models.
Finally, there are explainable AI and data governance toolkits. A set of built-in technologies that can assist government agencies in using AI in a secure and responsible manner. This includes features for access control and content moderation, as well as novel mechanisms for incorporating human feedback to improve model performance and the ability to audit the sources of AI model outputs to detect and resolve potential bias and ensure that model behaviour is compliant with regulations.
The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) is Singapore’s first public-sector organisation to use the AGCC. Its Open Government Products (OGP) team has integrated with Vertex AI and is investigating the use of its models in Pair, which are large language model-powered assistants that civil servants can use to help them boost productivity while maintaining the confidentiality of government information.
To help government agencies deploy AI applications as effectively and responsibly as possible, the Cloud tech company will collaborate with GovTech to design and run whole-of-government Digital Academy programmes that will assist agencies in developing in-house data science and AI expertise, developing AI innovation strategies, and implementing data governance best practices.
The programmes will be delivered in a variety of specialised formats to 150,000 public servants from 16 ministries and over 50 statutory boards.
Government agencies in Singapore will be able to use the AGCC and other authorised services through the Government on Commercial Cloud (GCC) 2.0 platform beginning in June 2023. The GCC platform, developed by GovTech, offers agencies a standardised and regulated means to implement commercial cloud solutions.
GCC 2.0, the platform’s second generation, is integrated with cloud-native capabilities and cloud security practices, enabling agencies to access into a larger ecosystem of services and people to accelerate the development of new digital applications.
The Government of Western Australia is taking significant steps to support rural and remote communities across Western Australia by providing funding for technology projects that aim to enhance community services. In an effort to bridge the digital divide and promote access to essential resources, more than AU$ 330,000 has been allocated to support 44 Community Resource Centres (CRC) in implementing various technology and innovation initiatives throughout the regions.
These projects encompass a wide range of endeavours aimed at improving the lives of community members in rural areas. For instance, a notable initiative involves the upgrade of 13 public computers in Broome. These computers play a crucial role in the community, particularly for individuals who do not have the luxury of owning personal computers in their homes. By upgrading these public computers, the CRC in Broome will be able to provide better access to information, educational resources, and essential online services to local residents.
The funding provided by the McGowan Government will empower CRCs in rural and remote areas to embrace technological advancements and leverage innovative solutions to address community needs. By implementing these technology projects, the government aims to enhance the overall quality of life in these regions, promote digital inclusion, and ensure that residents have equal opportunities to access crucial online services and resources.
In addition to the aforementioned initiatives, the funding provided by the Government will enable other Community Resource Centres (CRCs) in Western Australia to embark on innovative projects tailored to their local community needs. The Frankland River CRC, for example, plans to establish a Smart Home Hub demonstration centre, which will serve as a showcase for the latest advancements in home automation and smart technologies. This initiative aims to educate and familiarize community members with the benefits and possibilities of integrating smart technologies into their homes.
Meanwhile, the Beverley CRC intends to establish a content creation studio with a specific focus on social media marketing for local businesses in the Wheatbelt region. This studio will help businesses develop engaging content for their social media platforms, enabling them to effectively promote their products and services to a wider audience. By enhancing their online presence and digital marketing capabilities, local businesses can potentially attract more customers and bolster economic growth in the region.
The grant program extends to all Community Resource Centres within the WA Community Resource Network, encompassing over 100 CRCs located in regional and remote areas across the State. Each eligible CRC has the opportunity to apply for grants of up to AU$ 10,000 under the program.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development administers the program, ensuring that the funding is allocated and used effectively to support technology and innovation projects that benefit rural and remote communities in Western Australia.
The Minister of Regional Development emphasised the importance of Community Resource Centres (CRCs) as community-driven organizations that play a crucial role in providing essential support to residents and businesses in rural and remote areas across Western Australia. The funding initiative aims to equip CRCs with the necessary technological resources to deliver modern and effective services to their respective communities.
This funding program recognises that community needs vary across different regions, and it empowers local CRCs to identify and address the specific improvements that will bring the greatest benefits to their stakeholders. By allowing CRCs to leverage their deep understanding of local needs and dynamics, the initiative ensures that the allocated funds are used in ways that best serve the communities they serve. This approach acknowledges the unique challenges and opportunities faced by each CRC and supports their efforts in delivering impactful projects tailored to their community’s requirements.