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Vietnam Boosting Cashless Payments

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In line with the national e-commerce development plan, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has established ambitious objectives for non-cash payments in e-commerce activities. The ministry announced that by 2025, it aims to boost the cashless payment ratio in e-commerce by 50%, particularly focusing on e-payments facilitated by payment intermediaries or apps.

Another target is raising the ratio of payments carried out through payment intermediary service providers to 80% of non-cash payments in e-commerce activities by the same year. According to the Centre for Information and Digital Technology (CID) under the MoIT’s E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency (iDEA), the centre has been actively and will continue to be engaged in the implementation of several solutions and the enhancement of infrastructure to encourage non-cash payments. This includes the development of the National E-commerce Payment System, Keypay.

Furthermore, it will research and develop a safe, secure payment system for e-commerce activities based on the commercial arbitration (ESCROW) approach. This aims to safeguard the interests of both consumers and sellers involved in non-cash payment transactions.  Anticipated trends include an increase in the proportion of e-payments via the ESCROW system and a corresponding decrease in the usage of cash-on-delivery (COD) payments.

Additionally, there will be a focus on enhancing reliability to foster more secure transactions, establishing a clear legal foundation to resolve disputes, and ensuring the protection of the interests of both buyers and sellers.

The centre noted that a substantial portion of non-cash payment transactions presently consists of transactions conducted without the involvement of intermediary payment service providers, including methods such as bank transfers, cash deposits at service counters, and postal money transfers. This poses potential risks for consumers during transactions because when the goods or services fail to meet requirements, sellers may not accept returns, and consumers may also be unable to complain or be protected in such transactions.

The primary factors that contribute to this situation are the continued use of cash by consumers, the low trust that consumers place in the e-payment infrastructure that supports e-commerce activities, and the absence of consistent and coherent measures aimed at protecting the interests of consumers and sellers in non-cash payment transactions.

For the past few years, the government’s objective has been to boost the use of digital payments within the nation through initiatives like the National Digital Transformation Programme and the State Bank of Vietnam’s (SBV) strategy for the banking sector.

Last month, to extend modern digital payment solutions to rural and remote areas of the country, the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS) and the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) introduced the NAPAS 247 Quick Transfer and NAPAS 247 Quick Transfer via VietQR Code, available through the bank’s mobile banking app, VBSP Smartbanking.

As OpenGov Asia reported, with the VBSP Smartbanking app, customers can make swift transfers between their VBSP accounts and 45 NAPAS member banks and vice versa. The app also enables users to generate personalised QR codes to receive funds and scan QR codes from other banks for easy money transfers. The user-friendly interface empowers clients to conduct seamless transactions, offering a convenient, fast, and safe payment experience. The project holds significant importance in promoting the advancement of cashless payment systems in Vietnam as VBSP’s branches and customers span all 63 provinces and cities in the country.

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