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Mobile Money Widely Used in Vietnam

More than 463,000 people have used Mobile Money as of 11 February, over one month after the Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group (Viettel) and the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) launched the cashless payment service, according to data from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).

So far, 77,200 establishments have accepted the payment method nationwide, the Ministry has stated. To popularise the service to the public, Viettel has set up 80,000 points to provide consultations and support customers in registering and using the service. Mobile Money is expected to be a push towards cashless payment in Vietnam, a country where only 50% of the population has a bank account, and most people pay for goods valued at less than VND100,000 VND (US$4.41) by cash.

The development of Mobile Money will help promote digital transformation and expand the use of cashless payment services to most people, especially those in remote, mountainous, and rural areas. The Ministry will build mechanisms to promote, manage and supervise the deployment of Mobile Money services this year. It will also continue to encourage telecom service operators to transform telecommunications infrastructure into digital infrastructure, which will significantly contribute to developing e-government, the digital economy, and digital society.

The country’s telecom market currently has about 126.3 million subscribers, of which the three largest carriers and those licensed to pilot Mobile Money account for more than 97% of the market share. A Viettel representative said the fact that all three operators are licensed to pilot Mobile Money will help increase the coverage of the service. Many people still do not have access to digital payments and digital finance is a huge space. Viettel has built and accumulated the digital financial ecosystem for more than ten years.

The organisation hopes that the Mobile Money service will contribute to the development of a comprehensive financial system in Vietnam and the goal of making non-cash payments a habit of the people. Additionally, it expects that people who have never had access to bank accounts, digital payment electronic services could access this type of digital payment more easily, improving knowledge and bringing digital utilities to change lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly boosted the e-commerce market, with non-cash payments accounting for 70% of total retail transactions in Vietnam last year. According to a survey of 15,000 retailers, cashless payments in 2021 made up 72.8% of total transactions, up 9% year-on-year. As OpenGov Asia explained, payments through bank accounts became the most popular method, accounting for 36.5% of total transactions at retail shops, restaurants, and cafés followed by cash (29.8%), e-wallets (14.8%), QR code (9.9%), bank cards (8.5%), and payment gateways (0.5%).

Notably, 89.3% of retailers have positive assessments on non-cash payments, considering them a trend at present and in the future. New cashless payment tools are expected to be launched in the time to come to reduce difficulties that retailers currently face. The regional e-commerce market reported a 24-fold increase over the last six years, from US$5 billion in 2015 to US$120 billion in 2021. It is forecast to reach US$234 billion in 2025.

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