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Vietnam’s Digital Horizon: E-commerce, Digital Payments and AI

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In 2023, Vietnam’s e-commerce market has burgeoned to an impressive US$20.5 billion, marking a 25% growth compared to the previous year. This robust expansion underscores the increasing significance of e-commerce as a driving force behind Vietnam’s digital economy, playing a pivotal role in economic development and catalysing the digital transformation of businesses across the nation.

Image credits: Vietnam Plus

A noteworthy contributor to this digital shift is the surge in electronic invoices directly generated from cash registers, a key initiative of the General Department of Taxation. In 2023, an astounding 104.8 million electronic invoices were recorded, a staggering 47.6-fold increase compared to the initial implementation period.

By the end of the year, 94.36% of the targeted businesses, totalling 40,355, had successfully adopted this innovative invoicing system. This substantial adoption rate has not only streamlined administrative procedures but has also significantly reduced costs and bolstered overall business productivity.

Mai Xuan Thanh, General Director of the General Department, acknowledged the transformative impact of the e-invoice system, stressing its role in administrative reform. Regions such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Dong Nai, and Quang Ninh have reported commendable results, serving as benchmarks for the nationwide adoption of this groundbreaking initiative.

To sustain and complement this momentum, the digital payment landscape in Vietnam has witnessed significant growth. The percentage of Vietnamese adults with payment accounts has skyrocketed to 77.41%, a substantial increase from the 31% reported in the earlier period.

State Bank of Vietnam Deputy Governor Pham Tien Dung highlighted that numerous banks are now conducting over 90% of transactions digitally, with some even reaching an impressive 98%. The clearing house system, which recorded approximately 700 million transactions in 2019, has witnessed a tenfold increase, reaching a remarkable 7 billion transactions in 2023.

The digital payment revolution extends beyond transaction numbers. Internet payment transactions have experienced a substantial annual average increase of 46.48%, while mobile payment transactions have surged by an impressive 90.12%. QR code payments, in particular, have witnessed an astonishing annual average growth rate of 471.13% since 2018.

Moreover, banking apps have evolved into comprehensive platforms, allowing users not only to manage their finances but also to book flights, arrange taxi services, and pay utility bills such as power and water bills.

As Vietnam strides confidently into the digital future, Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) is poised to play a significant role in shaping the country’s technological landscape. Dang Huu Son, Vice Chairman of the Artificial Intelligence for Industry Development, projects a substantial contribution of VND 14 trillion (US$574.83 million) by 2030.

The recent establishment of AIID, an alliance comprising 17 technology-oriented universities and enterprises, reflects Vietnam’s proactive approach to bridging the gap between academia and industry. This collaboration aims to empower students with practical digital knowledge and skills, ensuring a well-equipped workforce for the evolving tech landscape.

Son believes that the evolution of AI is not merely a technological advancement but a transformative force that will reshape efficiency and elevate personal skills across multiple generations on a national scale. Vietnam’s enthusiasm for AI is palpable, with an impressive 91% of respondents expressing a positive outlook, as revealed by a survey conducted by Finastra Financial Services.

This fervent embrace of AI positions Vietnam as a trailblazer, outpacing other global markets in its readiness to harness the transformative potential of artificial intelligence.

Vietnam’s tech revolution is marked by a triumphant surge in e-commerce, the dominance of digital payments, and a pioneering stance in embracing the transformative potential of artificial intelligence. These key developments position Vietnam as a tech-driven powerhouse, poised for sustained growth and innovation in the digital era.


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