The 4th STEP Project Steering Committee (PSC) was held at CBV Head office on October 21st, 2021. Mr. Brian Allemekinders – Head of Cooperation and Counsellor, Canadian Embassy and Mr. Nguyen Minh Tuan – CBV Deputy General Director co-chaired the meeting. Other PSC members including representatives of the State Bank of Vietnam (International Cooperation Dept., Bureau III – Banking Supervision Agency, Information Technology Dept.) and representatives of the Co-operative Bank of Vietnam (CBV) Board of Directors also attended the meeting.

In respond to the challenges of the Covid -19 pandemic to the project activities in 2020-2021, especially those at the field, the STEP Project Management Unit (PMU) applied an agile management approach with collaborative tools to maintain the business momentum, that resulted in the completion of 4/5 project priorities and nearly 90% of the planned activities. Many tools and solutions have been improved, fine-tuned and piloted at the CBV Head Office and its 32 branches, as well as with the 75 pilot People’s Credit Funds (PCFs) such as the E-learning platform, the Information Management System for People’s Credit Funds (PRMS), the internal audit toolkit, and the loan appraisal tool…etc.

During this meeting, the STEP PMU has also presented the 2021-2022 workplan that includes the development of additional solutions such as an E-banking system connecting CBV and PCF’s services with national payment gateways, a risk monitoring framework to upgrade and standardize the structure and credit rating procedures for PCFs, and a customer care protocol set with detailed instructions and easy-to-use tools to assist PCF’s credit officers managing their customer profiles in a more standardized and effective method.

STEP also plans to develop a mobile application with visualized, practical financial and entrepreneur knowledge that the PCF current and potential customers can use to improve their general financial skills. The app will also provide information on CBV and PCFs products and services offers and a quick calculation tool to assist customers making accurate financial decisions. A Women leadership program will also be designed to promote successful stories of women entrepreneurs, especially those in rural and agriculture area, which eventually aims to encourage women to actively explore their potentials to contribute to their family and the country’s general economic development.

Mr. Brian Allemekinders congratulated STEP’s achievements, referring to STEP as the “brightest spot” in the GAC’s development cooperation report for Asia-Pacific region this year.

SBV representatives and CBV leaders also restated their support for STEP’s action plan for 2021-2022, underlining the importance of consolidating lessons learnt from the pilot to propose relevant approaches for introducing STEP’s solution to the whole PCF network in the near future.