StoxPlus is pleased to release our third issue on Vietnam Consumer Finance Customer Survey 2017. Continuing from last year’s Consumer Finance Customer Survey 2016, we trace the Customers’ Journey from the very start – the consideration, the decision-making factors, to the end – overall customer satisfaction. This customer-centric approach gives the CF companies a new perspective into their customers’ thinking.
Given the rising competition among key players, things could very well be changed in the near future. As customers demand more and more from CF companies, companies compete not only on lower interest rates, fewer fees and fines, but also on simpler application, quicker disbursement, and attitude of service staff. We believe that this survey will help CF companies have a better understanding of their existing as well as potential customers and develop appropriate business directions.
In this survey, we randomly chose 350 respondents in Hanoi, HCMC and Danang to test the penetration and awareness about consumer finance services. Furthermore, we conducted in-depth interview with 600 people – booster group, who were already aware of CF services via snowball sampling to study 3 groups of customers: 1) existing CF customers; 2) intend to use - potential customers; 3) not intend to use – non-customers.
Penetration of Consumer Finance in Vietnam is increasing. The percentage of Vietnamese knowing about CF rose to 26% in 2017 compared to 21% in 2016. Among which, about 43% know about more than one CF product. Nearly half of people who are aware of CF products are office workers and belong to the age group of 22 and under.
The most recognized CF product is electronic gadget (88%) and the most popular promotion channel for CF products is via retailer (70%) and only 10% knows about CF products on the internet.
The main reason for respondents to borrow from CF companies is mainly to split the expenditure and meet purchase demand.
Borrowing from banks, friends and relatives are still more prevalent sources of funding because of lower interest rate, less complicated procedures and contract terms. In consistency with the findings from our CF report 2017, however, CF companies are major funding sources to smaller value items like electronic devices, home appliances and motorbikes, etc.
Interest rates and procedures consistently rank as the No.1 and No.2 concerns in the decision to use CF, followed by contract terms (No.3) versus loan rescheduling last year. Majority of respondents also rank lower interest rate as their no. 1 reason to consider switching to CF (89%). However, according to different products, age and income groups, the concern priority varies. Aligning with this result, the majority of customers rank “0% interest rate” as their preferred promotion programme except for housewives, whereas non-customers are more attracted to “no upfront costs” and gifts.
Word of mouth is the most effective marketing channel, thus maintaining high customer satisfaction and servicing the experience of existing customers are important for CF companies. However, in terms of customers’ decision-making process, receiving consultation with agents at retailers and POS is the most important factor to get customers to choose CF service.
Generally, most of surveyed customers are satisfied with their experiences at CF companies and 92% would recommend CF products and services to friends and relatives. Only 17% intend to change their CF companies’ due to lower interest rates and simpler application.
Impact of Circular 43: One new thing this year is the issuance of Circular 43/2016/TT-NHNN, which limits CF loan of one customer at a CF company up to VND100 million (except for auto loans with collaterals). This circular has affected mostly FE Credit, Prudential and HD Saison though only 12.9% of total sample used to or intend to borrow more than VND100 million.
HD Saison stands out to be the most well-known CF company, while Home Credit and FE Credit are vying for second place. As in 2016, HD Saison has aggressively expanded its presence in Vietnam, with the number of POS growing by 250% in 2016 vs. 2014. It gained the most ground in Danang, where it was recognized by three quarters of surveyed respondents. Meanwhile, FE Credit and Home Credit are more well known in the larger and more urban cities of Hanoi and HCMC.
While Home Credit scores high on certain customer experience factors, HD Saison comes out as the most well-rounded company and customers are overall satisfied with their experience. Whereas, FE Credit, albeit is the biggest player, encounters customers complaints in application process and fees & fines.