One underbanked portrait – Aunt Bảy / Cô Bảy

Reflection of my own personal experience living with people whom would be categorized as the so-called “underbanked” – the segment which sounds so distant to many & most often got ignored by opposite fortunate social class: the banked segment (the ones who are qualified for all banking services)

My Mother’s full-time caregiver is one. I call her Cô Bảy (Aunt Seven).

She could have been a Nurse, employed by private hospital IF she was fortunate enough to be given access to education & certificate.

But like millions of farmers & rural residents, she was not that lucky. She managed to have the same skill sets as a Nurse by the on-the-job training.

It’s simple: Patients need a caregivers 24/7 while the family is at work and Nurses find freelancers and make a referral bonus.

(One patient x 1 caregiver x $25/day = millions dollars in opportunity for Uncertified Nurses. But that’s another story next time)

Aunt Bay age is as same as My Mom, Baby Boomer generation.

She uses a smart phone. She convinces others in her hometown to get a smartphone “because it allows you to call your friends for FREE for hours”. She means Zalo, the no 1 social app used by millions in Vietnam.

She has a Bank account (with the help of local banker who does A to Z step) but doesn’t know how to use Bank Transfer. She was curious how I could live without cash. How I put orders online. How I top up her phone plan without having to go to any stores.

As I explain things to her, I learn a way to communicate better in her own perspective. If she could understand what I am saying, I am successful.

I am putting myself in her shoes to understand what’s her key expectation in the pay later/lending/banking services.

What are the means she could manage to pay back when she does not know how to use Bank Transfer.

She got the motivation but does not know how. She has stable income. She has skills. She has a cleaned legitimate ID.

I could simply make her life better with what I’m about to offer to my Customers.

She only need just an ID & 5 minutes. Installment to buy stuffs for her family are underway, approved & zero interest.

She could checkout pay later in store like most underbanked customers prefer.

Her order splits in 3.

It’s affordable. It’s fast. It’s safe.

She gets that.

And I’m showing her values in buying insurance for herself and her family as well. At her age, and with her freelancing job, she’s not protected nor covered by any health plans.

You might not know that I have been growing up in the insurance world. My parents are non-life insurance experts in Marine & Auto Insurance.

The industry is having tough times to educate Consumers about its true benefits. Product are hard to understand, exclusion clauses, claim process, etc.

One time without Direct Billing due to missing ID, I find myself traditionally filling claims for my Mom hospital bills. A total nightmare even though I thought I was Pro. The average customer would never be able to do it in 1st attempt.

So if I’m going search for a plan that works for Cô Bảy, that would be a masive market research.

Excited to see many insurance providers go digital. When I was at GoBear Vietnam, I only cover research and launched Credit Card, Personal Loans, & Travel insurance. Didn’t manage to get to Health Insurance.

I miss the platform. If not for FinTech, I’d go for Insurtech or Healthtech. Pain points as a Customers, I’ve gone through myself.

The more I get closer to real pain points of real customers, the more I could solve them.

Life would be transformed with better services dedicated to the underbanked. Millions of them. 90% of this country.

Determined to make in impact. One life at a time!


Olivia, Peace & The Olive Tree |

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