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Timo, Vietnam’s First Digital Bank Introduced A New Feature To Help People Affected By The Pandemic

Timo, Vietnam's First Digital Bank Introduced A New Feature To Help People Affected By The Pandemic

 Timo, Vietnam’s first digital bank, recently introduced a new feature helping donors to financially support people negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Timo’s TimoPay by Link feature allows customers to send money easily and safely to anybody in need without the hassle of asking for bank account details. In combination with Zalo Connect, a recent initiative by Zalo where people can mark themselves as in need of support, TimoPay by Link provides an easy, convenient, and free way to quickly help during these difficult times.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new tool on Zalo Connect allows people who have been seriously affected by COVID-19 in Ho Chi Minh City, and other big cities in Vietnam, to seek emergency support from the community to request for food, medicine, essential goods, and quickly connect with doctors or medical professionals for remote consultation.

As social distancing measures continue to be extended and the transportation of goods on inter-district routes is limited, many donors choose to support their peers in difficulty through financial means.

Those joining the Zalo Connect community are often moved to tears by seeing the sheer number of people calling for help in their community. Each “orange dot” (indicating people lacking food or medicine) on Zalo Connect is a story of adversity and need.

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It could be a lonely old man running out of food, a young couple with a child who has gone without milk for weeks or a student who could not return home before the social distancing and is now trapped at a dormitory without money. It could be an unemployed worker who can no longer afford to pay rent, or an expecting young couple who cannot afford essentials.

Seeing so many people in need, Timo realized that its TimoPay by Link would be a perfect complement allowing anybody to easily and securely send money to a person in need without even knowing their bank account details. The project is referred to as “Surround yourself with green hope” – a reference to the dots marking people and families on Zalo Connect who are struggling to make ends meet during this time. Once resolved, these dots will turn from orange to green showing that the person has successfully been helped.

As of September 15, more than 40,000 people had joined Zalo Connect to support those in difficulty, with more than 100,000 orange dots turning green after receiving food and necessities. About 92 per cent of requests for help were for essential food such as rice, eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, milk, and bread, while the rest was for other necessities such as washing powder, toothpaste, electronic appliances, medicine, and healthcare advice.

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Nguyen Vu, a resident in Tan Phu district of Ho Chi Minh City who had participated in Zalo Connect, said she was looking to support families with children or elderly relatives, as well as families with COVID – positive – test cases being treated at home. She eventually chose a young couple in Binh Tan district.

“Via Zalo Connection, I saw a request from Le Nguyen who is living in a small place with a 4-year old. Due to the pandemic, Le and her husband were jobless and ran out of money. I sent some money via Timo link to Le to help them overcome the difficult time,” Nguyen said.

Thu Hong, a resident in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, said that in the past few days, besides practical and meaningful support activities such as fundraising, supporting, and empowering medical staff, doctors and volunteers, campaigns like “Surround yourself with green hope” has helped spread positive messages and energy throughout social networks and the whole community to overcome the pandemic.

“The ‘Surround yourself with green hopes’ project has really brought together the community and spread the love, making both the needy and the helpers more optimistic and more connected,” Hong said.

Jonas Eichhorst, Board Director at Timo, shared that Timo was the first to offer a fee-free, easy, and convenient digital banking experience in Vietnam. Since then, the company aspires to set the benchmark for modern banking, in Vietnam and beyond.

As shared by him, “Specifically, we try to help people stay on top of their finances and live their best possible lives. We do this through rethinking a wide range of banking products and services and focusing on providing the best possible customer experience. We know that banking does not exist in isolation and believe in the idea of social banking.” As he further elaborated: “For us at Timo, this begins with small shifts in mindset, thinking about connecting people instead of just bank accounts. And this extends all the way to big questions like how banking in general and Timo specifically can be a contributor to a prosperous and harmonious society. The ‘Surround yourself with green hopes’ project is a great example of how a bank transfer is not just about sending money, it is about helping others and contributing to a more prosperous future.”

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