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Vietnam Embracing Digital Payments

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An internationally recognised card service company, with a significant presence in the digital payments domain, released insights shedding light on Vietnam’s evolving payment landscape. Through its comprehensive consumer payment attitudes study, the company, highlights a surge in cashless transactions among Vietnamese consumers, signifying a progressive shift towards embracing novel financial technologies.

According to the study’s findings, a staggering 56% of Vietnamese respondents reported carrying less physical cash than they did a year prior, indicative of a growing inclination towards digital payment methods. Notably, the younger demographic is leading the charge in this transition, with a striking 89% having seamlessly adopted cashless payment solutions.

Furthermore, the company delves into the prevailing trends shaping Vietnam’s burgeoning non-cash economy, notably highlighting the ascendancy of mobile wallets. Vietnam stands among the top Southeast Asian markets witnessing rapid mobile wallet adoption, serving as the preferred avenue for payments and substantially contributing to the digital finance sector’s growth. Remarkably, four out of every five Vietnamese consumers utilise mobile wallets, positioning the country as a frontrunner in mobile finance adoption.

In tandem with the surge in mobile wallet usage, real-time payments (RTPs) have gained considerable traction in Vietnam, underscoring the nation’s receptiveness to cutting-edge financial technologies. The unparalleled convenience and efficiency offered by RTPs have fueled further digitisation of the economy, with at least two in five consumers leveraging these services for various transactions, including cross-border transfers, peer-to-peer payments, merchant transactions, and bill settlements.

Additionally, the buy now, pay later (BNPL) service has emerged as a popular choice among Vietnamese consumers, offering flexible payment options and driving increased consumer engagement. The company’s strategic collaborations with leading Vietnamese retailers for its instalment solutions exemplify the transformative impact of such services in fostering financial inclusion and spurring business growth.

While credit cards may witness comparatively lower usage for wallet top-ups and funding, they remain the preferred choice for BNPL plans in Vietnam. The ease of use, coupled with incentives like free vouchers, rewards points, and transparent payment tracking mechanisms, have been instrumental in driving the adoption of BNPL offerings.

Vietnam’s ongoing cashless payment revolution not only presents unparalleled opportunities for economic growth but also fosters innovation, unlocking new avenues for both consumers and businesses in the transition towards a cashless society.

The Country Manager for Vietnam and Laos at the card service company emphasised the company’s unwavering commitment to driving innovation and enhancing digital payment experiences for consumers. The findings from their study corroborate the growing trend towards contactless transactions, evidenced by a significant 53% increase in contactless transactions made on their cards, accompanied by a 19% surge in purchases and a substantial rise in the total value of cross-border transactions.

Supporting data from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) further underscores the positive trajectory of non-cash payment and digital banking activities in the country. As of the end of 2023, individual payment accounts surpassed 182.88 million, reflecting a notable 21.8% year-on-year increase. In January 2024, non-cash transactions surged by 63.3% in volume and 41.45% in value compared to the previous year, with transactions through the internet and QR codes witnessing exponential growth rates.

OpenGov Asia reported on Vietnam’s strides towards a cashless society, attributing the momentum to government policies favouring digital payments. Increased online transactions fuel competition among tech firms, advancing Vietnam’s digital economy. A survey showed that 43.8% of sellers accept bank transfers, and 15.3% use VietQR codes, indicating wide digital payment adoption.

Encouraged by these trends, the SBV continues to advocate for digitalisation within credit institutions, fostering collaboration across sectors to expand the digital ecosystem, while concurrently refining the legal framework, mechanisms, and policies governing non-cash payments.


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