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Vietnam’s Surge in Electronic and Cashless Payments

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During the first half of this year, Vietnam experienced notable surges in electronic and cashless payments, witnessing a remarkable 76% increase in volume and a 1.79% rise in value for internet transactions.

Mobile phone payments increased by 65% in volume and 77% in value, while QR code transactions rose by 152% in volume and 301% in value. Meanwhile, transactions conducted through ATMs experienced a decline, with a 4% decrease in volume and a 6% reduction in value.

To support digitisation, the government has introduced the National Digital Transformation Programme and the State Bank has unveiled its own digital transformation plan for the banking industry. These initiatives present opportunities for banks to revamp their business models, enhance financial services, and adjust to the evolving landscape by providing a wide array of products and services that cater to the diverse needs of their customers.

During a recent workshop jointly organised by the National Innovation Centre and a private entity, Nguyen Quoc Hung, the Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of the Vietnam Banks Association revealed that 96 banks and credit institutions are working on digital transformation strategies. Furthermore, 92% of these banks have already developed internet and mobile applications to enhance and optimise their services for customers. This reflects the growing commitment of the banking sector in Vietnam towards embracing digital innovation and providing more convenient and efficient banking solutions to their clients.

Hung noted that these figures demonstrate a strong inclination towardelectronic payments. Banks and payment intermediaries are connected in real-time transactions, with an average daily value reaching approximately VND 900,000 trillion (US$ 40 billion), encompassing over 8 million transactions per day.

Additionally, it has been reported that more than 70% of adults in Vietnam now possess a bank account through digital channels. The cost-to-revenue ratio for banks has experienced a notable decline of approximately 30%. This reduction in the cost-to-revenue ratio signifies substantial cost savings for the banks, which can lead to improved operational efficiency and increased profitability.

As per a 2023 survey on digital transformation, Vietnam has secured the second position among the ten Southeast Asian countries in terms of the extent of digital transformation implemented to enhance customer experience and engagement within the financial sector, behind only Singapore.

Last month, OpenGov Asia reported that the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has set a target for cashless payments to constitute 50% of all transactions by 2025. The primary focus of the SBV is to establish a strong and accessible payment infrastructure across the entire country, with the objective of making digital payments the preferred mode of transaction. To facilitate this goal, the central bank is drafting a new decree to create a legal framework to promote non-cash payments.

At a seminar held as part of Cashless Day 2023, Pham Tien Dung, the Deputy Governor of SBV, emphasised the crucial role of data connectivity in fully unlocking the potential of cashless payments. He highlighted that by fostering collaborative data sharing across the entire ecosystem, the SBV can create a payment experience that is not only secure but also highly convenient for customers. Furthermore, this approach actively contributes to financial inclusion efforts and effectively promotes overall economic growth. SBV intends to invest in infrastructure and drive innovation to establish an inclusive payment ecosystem that prioritises accessibility, convenience, and security for all users.


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