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 International Relations

April - Rural, Urban Interconnectivity to Help Fight Poverty Project

(Cập nhật ngày: 20/04/2011 - 01:14:04 AM )

Visit of A Representative from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Program Director of DID-Canada

Mr. Jean-Marc Crevier, The DID Program Director completed his visit to Vietnam from March 27 – April 1, 2011. During this visit, on behalf of the Proxfin Network, he awarded an Outstanding Partner Certification for 2010 and a souvenir to Mr. Nguyen Quoc Cuong, Deputy General Director of CCF (for more information, please visit http://did.qc.ca/en/partenaires/exceptionnels/default.html).


In his meeting with the CCF, he was also informed by the CCF General Director on the results of the CCF Annual Members Meeting in 2011 as well as results of phase 1 of the Interconnectivity Project. DID has discussed with the CCF on general principles for negotiating the Addendum to the Cooperation Agreement for the Extension Phase and the preparation work for Phase 2 of the Interconnectivity Project. The two parties exchanged views on the strategic orientation of the CCF in the future when transforming to Cooperative Bank model.

On this occasion, Ms. Gabriela Zapata Alvarez, Representative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made a working visit in Vietnam from March 30 to April 2, 2011. Accordingly, the DID-Vietnam project office has accompanied the delegation to field visits to the Project sites in Vietnam.

The delegation visited and worked with representatives of Banking Supervision Agency – State Bank of Vietnam, Central Credit Fund and Vietnam Association of PCFs. The delegation accompanied by DID project office staff and representatives of CCF Interconnectivity Project Implementation Unit visited Quang Trung PCF, Phung Xa PCF (Hanoi), Hiep Binh PCF (HCMC) and Phuoc Hoa PCF (Binh Duong Province).

Following are some pictures taken during the field visits of the delegation.



FT transactions

We would like to present some information on funds transfer transactions of the first quarter of 2011. By the end of March 2011, there were 59 connected sites including 51CCF’s sites and 8 pilot PCFs. The FT system executed a total of 4,598 successful transactions for the first quarter of 2011, amounting to nearly VND 2,683 billion(equiv. to nearly USD 128.3 million) (exchange rate is about 20,900 VND/USD),  increasing by 1.8% in terms of number of transactions and decreasing by 46.6% in terms of volume compared to  quarter 4/2010. In fact, CCF inter-branch internal fund transfer has decreased significantly in this quarter. If we take the inter-branch internal fund transfer out, we can see an increase in the number of transactions of 21% and an increase in the volume of FT by 3%. CCF also uses the FT system to settle IC transaction payments between PCFs and CCF transaction offices with CCF branches and in turn to CCF Headquarter at the end of the transaction day. The FT system executed an average of 78 transactions per day in this quarter, an increase of 10 transactions over quarter 4/2010.

The following figure shows total FT volume of PCFs and CCF in million VND.


 Note: This figure does not include the fund transfer transactions of CCF via the SBV’s Ci_Tad System (National Inter-bank Payment system). We adjusted the historical data to better reflect a new classification of the FT transactions established in this quarter.

The CCF also uses the FT system to transfer internal fund inter-branch with a considerable amount (the average amount per transaction is very high). Therefore, we have to take it out of the total amount in order to have a clearer picture. The following figure shows the FT volume of PCFs and CCF in million VND after deduction of CCF inter-branch internal funds transfer transactions.

Regarding the funds transfer transactions, the 8 pilot PCFs, for the quarter ending on  March 31, 2011, completed a total of 1,087 successful transactions, amounting to approximately VND 105.4 billion (equivalent to nearly USD 5.05 million), they also received 155 successful transactions, amounting to VND 13.8 billion (equiv. to USD 662.3 thousand). The highest transaction amounted to VND 5 billion and the smallest transaction amounted to about VND 13.2 thousand. 



The following table shows a list of fund transfer transactions done at the 8 PCFs (Outward transactions)

Unit: VND                     

























Grand Total







The following table shows a list of FT transactions received by 8 PCFs (excluding transactions generated by a PCF and sent to another PCF) (Inward transactions)

Unit: VND         


























Grand Total






* This quarter, there were 2 transactions generated and received between the PCFs which are not mentioned in this table.

InQuarter 1/ 2011, B’lao PCF ranked the first place, in term of FTOs of 344 FTOs (outgoing and incoming) and in terms of transferred amount also (44 billion VND).  The following table shows the list of transactions of the 8 pilot PCFs in the first quarter of 2011 in sequence number of FTOs.



PCF Name


Amount (VND)






Liên Nghĩa




Phùng Xá




Tân Quy Đông




Mỹ Bình








Hiệp Bình




Mỹ Hòa





IC transactions

The IC transaction was officially launched on January 10, 2011. At the end of March, the CCF has deployed IC system to 26 CCF branches, 12CCF transaction offices and 8 pilot PCFs. In this quarter, the CCF issued IC accounts for the staff of CCF and the pilot PCFs only in order to pilot test the system before launching it to the public.

Connection between pilot PCFs and CCF has been done smoothly. The following POS transactions can be done at the PCFs and CCF branches / transaction offices that are interconnected: cash withdrawal, consulting balance, changing PIN. Furthermore, the IC deposition transactions can be done over the counter by customers at the IC sites.

Statistics on IC card transactions for the first quarter of 2011 are as follows:

-          Number of cards issued (CCF and PCF staff): 994 cards

-          Deposit transactions: 997transactions, amounting to 15.05 billion VND (US$720,190)

-          Withdrawal transactions: 2,538 transactions, amounting to 46.2 billion VND (US$2,210,711)

-          Total IC Account balance is: 10.3 billion VND (US$493,624)

-          Total FT transactions (from commercial banks to IC accounts and vice versa): 2,544 transactions, amounting to 45.2 billion VND (US$2.166 million )

We will continue to update the information of the Interconnectivity Project in the coming issues of VAPCF Bulletin.


“Support for Vietnam Association of People’s Credit Funds” Project

Distance training program PAMEF

As mentioned in the previous bulletin, the VAPCF has launched the pilot course for distance training program “Management at PCF” in the North and South in January 20th 2011 after the completion of the tutor training for both of these regions. And in March 2011, the closing meeting for the pilot distance training program has been hold in the South on March 9th 2011 and in the North on Mach  22nd 2011 with the participation of all tutors and learners, the leaders of VAPCF, Mr. Guy Champagne – DID Operations advisor, and leaders of PCFs in the regions.



Under the support of DID, the VAPCF completed the pilot phase of the distance training program in the North and South with the participation of nearly 100 tutors and learners (leaders and staff at PCFs). The tutors and learners were all highly appreciative of the program, as they found its content and delivery very useful and suitable. After completing the program, both tutors and learners have gained personal benefits such as a stronger understanding of the PCF, its role, operations and management, new professional experience and value add in their professional life. This program could also actually bring them new career opportunities within the context of the PCF network.

Because  the program is implemented at PCF network for the first time so the learners have make some recommendation to improve the quality of the program for example: the program duration should be longer (the current format is 10 weeks study), and more open discussion between learners and tutors should be organized,  further adaptation of some key words and definition,  some section should be further extended or shortened , adding some more practical example on the PCF operation.  Also for the future development of PCF network, there should be a section to introduce on the cooperative bank  and marketing.

Furthermore, participants believe that there is potential for greater interest, participation and learning if this distance training program were combined with the current compulsory training program, under the Decree No 31 of the SBV. Because this would certainly bring added value to the PCFs and their staff as it could save time and cost to all.


New banking software ITD-VAPCF

Mr. Martin Gingras – IT advisor from DID-Canada was in Vietnam from February 21st to March 10th 2011, in order to review the technical aspects of DID’s projects in Vietnam.  The objective of the mission regarding the “Support for VAPCF” project was as follows:

·         Evaluate the new banking software in development at the ITD-VAPCF at different PCFs where there is implementation and at the VAPCF. Evaluation of the implementation (methodology and process at the ITD-VAPCF) and recommendations for future support for DID.

·         Evaluation of the capacity of the Virtual PCF and need for expansion of  the infrastructure in place

·         Evaluation of development projects related to the Support Center to the PCFs where there is implementation. Tools, services to offer to PCFs, support process.

During his mission, Mr. Gingras also visited the Phung Xa – Thach That PCF in Hanoi Trung Vuong and Lac Tien PCF in Phu Tho province and Nam Sai Gon PCF in Ho Chi Minh city where the new banking software ITD-VAPCF is implemented.  He underlined his appreciation of the effort of IT’s staffs during the development of the new software and the collaboration of the PCFs during pilot implementation of the new software. And by the end of March 2011, the VAPCF’s IT Co.  completed the pilot implementation of the new software at 10 selected PCFs across the country under the support of DID. The pilot implementation has not only given the VAPCF’s IT Co. to enhance the development of the software but also increase the level of confident and capacity of the IT Co. staff in order to provide a better service to the PCFs.

DID project Office activities:

In March 9th 2011, Mr. Guy Champagne – DID Operations advisor  participated in the opening ceremony of the VAPCF’s representative office in the South at Nam Sai Gon PCF – Ho Chi Minh city. This has remark the development in operation of the VAPCF. The representative office in the South will facilitate the VAPCF to provide products & services for the PCF members in South where level of needs are high.

 We do not sell services; we sell benefits

 In this third article in our series, we want to describe what institutions like the PCFs offer to their members and clients. Our focus will be on financial products or services. We should use the term service as opposed to product for many reasons. First, a service is no tangible as opposed to a product which is. Second, the notion of service implies the role of human services in the exchange with the clientele. As we saw last month, the personnel are essential to financial services.

 Let’s start by delineating what a financial service is. A financial service is a series of characteristics or elements that are bundled for the facilitation of various financial transactions and other related activities like loans, insurance, credit cards, investment opportunities and money management as well as providing information to members, clients or users. Those characteristics, that we can also call features are: interest calculation method (for example: daily interest computation, paid on a monthly basis), terms (1 month term deposit, 12 month loan), repayment option (daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly repayment of a loan), the transactions allowed (deposits, withdrawals, funds transfers, interconnectivity transaction, cheques) and minimum transaction value or balance in account and many other features. All these features bundled in one service gets a defining name such as current account, savings account, or Golden Rice Card.


For the members and clients these characteristics or the financial services are complex. They require information to make a better choice; they need support from the personnel of the institution to guide them in their decision. Hence, the very essential role of training in our financial and banking industry.


Why are financial services complicated?


·         First, they are intangible: people cannot touch or manipulate to understand how they work;

·         Second, they are not divisible: users cannot sample a service. If unhappy, they have to cancel a transaction and redo it;

·         Third, usage and delivery is simultaneous. We cannot bring home, study and evaluate and then use. If there is an error, it has to be corrected rapidly

·         Fourth, a financial service is highly technical (money, systems, networks) and human;

·         Fifth, its delivery is highly variable, dependent upon the people who provide the service, the place where it is delivered and when it is delivered. A same user would probably get different service delivery if he or she goes to two different PCFs (different personnel) or at two different periods of the day at the same PCF.

 A financial service is even more complex because of its multiple characteristics; it is high – risk because it involves the user’s money, personnel and systems and information technology.

 This reinforces the importance of skilled and informed personnel to re-assure the users, provide information and advise them.

 There are three elements that could help us do a better job at explaining and offering financial services.

 First, we need to define who is to use the service; the segments that will show greater need for a service. What is their need to satisfy; what is there profile in terms of profession, revenues, gender… For example, the interconnectivity and funds transfer transactions may raise more interest among traders, farmers or business people who travel to buy their supplies or sell their products. The funds transfer could also tap into the segment of migrant construction worker who work in cities and need to send money back home to support the family. Clearly to offer a financial service, we must focus on those who may need it the most.


Second, service characteristics or features mean little to the user. What are the real benefits that the user gets when he or she uses it? A borrower gets the capacity to meet his business objectives when he or she gets a loan. A saver gets the opportunity to accomplish his plan, reach her target through a remunerated accumulation of savings. The benefits of the interconnectivity service or the funds transfer service are in general to save time, save money and reduce the need to travel with money. More specifically:

 ·         Access your account simply, constantly, at multiple locations;

·         Transfer funds from their community, without travelling to a commercial bank;

·         Get peace of mind as the transaction is conducted, with a receipt that guarantees delivery;

·         The user does not lose time;

·         There is no risk of losing money;

·         Easy to pay suppliers or to collect money from clients.

 There are many occasions when the needs arise and when the benefits could get real: when an entrepreneur travels for business, when there is need to pay utility, to save at distance, to have access to salary when on the road, to send money home to support the family or to send money to the kids who study out of town or to reimburse loans at distance.

 As these examples demonstrate, there is a clear link between the segment and the benefit. It is not easy, but with experience and training, we all develop this ability to recognize both to whom and for what benefit the service is appropriate.

 The third element that helps us do a better job at offering the services is the positioning of the service or to make it simple, how users and potential users perceive and understand the service. What are the main benefits that sum it up. Again, we can perceive savings as the means to accomplish your projects. The interconnectivity services could be seen as being ‘Simple, Convenient, Safe, Fast, Efficient’. Usually the positioning is what is made evident in the leaflets, the posters or other promotional tools. A recent leaflet in this bulletin, on the distance learning program ‘Management at the PCF’, used the following positioning:













 In conclusion, a financial service is a bundle of features that we must turn into benefits that meet the needs of a segment with the right positioning. However, it relies greatly on human resources, who are well informed on and well trained in marketing, customer service and on the technical aspects of those services.

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