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Vietnam’s Soaring Digital Payments Journey

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The current percentage of Vietnamese adults with payment accounts has risen to 77.41%, marking a significant increase from the 31% reported during the period from 2015 to 2017, according to the World Bank.

Image credits: Viettel Money

Remarkable achievements in payment-related activities have been recorded in the recent past. Numerous banks have reported over 90% of transactions are conducted digitally, with some instances even reaching an impressive 98%, State Bank of Vietnam Deputy Governor Pham Tien Dung noted.

He mentioned that in 2019, the clearing house system recorded approximately 700 million transactions, a figure that many could only dream of at that time. However, the numbers skyrocketed, increasing tenfold to reach an impressive 7 billion transactions in 2023.

Furthermore, there has been a substantial annual average increase of 46.48% in internet payment transactions and a notable surge of 90.12% in mobile payment transactions. Notably, QR code payments have experienced a remarkable annual average growth rate of 471.13% since 2018.

Presently, all banks offer mobile services, a significant increase compared to just a few in 2017. Moreover, the scope of transactions has evolved beyond banking alone. Users of banking apps can now book flight tickets, arrange taxi services, and pay utility bills such as power and water bills. This highlights a remarkable level of integration between the banking system and various other economic sectors. ­

Pham Anh Tuan, SBV’s Director of the Payment Department, mentioned that in line with the Party, government, and Prime Minister’s directives to boost digital transformation, the bank has revised and issued regulations to facilitate non-cash payment products and services, ensuring both convenience and transaction safety for clients.

Emphasising the swift expansion of internet, mobile, and QR code payments, he noted that there are currently 85 payment service suppliers offering internet payment services and 52 providing mobile payment services.­­ Nevertheless, Tuan also underscored the escalating significance of payment security in light of the increasing numbers of clients and transactions.

By the end of 2022, SBV and the banking sector had dedicated more than VND 15 trillion (US$ 617.6 million) to digital transformation efforts. Over the past four years, the nation has sustained a remarkable 40% growth rate in digital payments, positioning itself among the globe’s fastest-growing economies in terms of banking digital transformation.

As OpenGov Asia reported, at least 96% of Vietnamese banks have formulated strategies for digital transformation, with 92% successfully implementing internet and mobile application services. Notably, in 2022, the bank deployed Agribank Digital, a comprehensive platform equipped with the functions of a transaction office, including features such as identification, online account opening, registration for electronic banking services, and conducting financial transactions through biometrics.

Meanwhile, Vu Thanh Trung, the Director of Digital Bank at Military Bank (MB), revealed that the bank has been actively implementing a digital transformation strategy since 2018, involving strategic collaboration with a technology giant based in the United States.

SBV said that it is dedicated to adopting a proactive stance, working in collaboration with stakeholders to execute solutions delineated in the cashless payment project spanning from 2021 to 2025. Furthermore, SBV will engage in partnerships concerning the digital transformation plan and Project 06 within the banking sector, with a specific focus on enhancing the legal framework to streamline digital transformation. This includes policies addressing data connection and utilisation.


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