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Vietnam Outlines Digitisation Objectives

According to an action plan recently issued by the National Committee on Digital Transformation, the government will focus on directing and coordinating ministries, sectors, and localities to promote digital transformation and develop the e-government and digital economy through several new targets. The committee will prioritise resources to achieve important indicators of the country’s programmes and strategies on digital transformation, as per a recent report. Vietnam aims to have over 90% of its population use electronic health records for medical examinations, treatment, and health monitoring activities by the end of 2022.

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and localities will cooperate to build an electronic identification and authentication system based on the national population and citizen identification databases. About 15-20% of the population is expected to use e-identification applications by late this year, the report added. The Ministry of Education and Training will coordinate with MIC to develop an online teaching platform, a digital university, and a national digital education resource repository. The two Ministries will also maintain a certain ratio of online teaching in the post-pandemic situation and develop a pilot higher education model in training digital human resources.

Furthermore, the Minister of Planning and Investment will work with MIC and localities to speed up the digital transformation in small and medium-sized enterprises. Digital and cashless payments will also be promoted through coordination between the State Bank of Vietnam, MIC, and other ministries and localities. The government aims for the total amount of non-cash payments of tuition and hospital fees to reach at least 50% by the end of this year.

Last December, the State Bank of Vietnam approved the mobile money service licenses of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT), MobiFone, and state-run group Viettel. In February this year, over one month after Viettel and VNPT officially launched the cashless payment service, more than 463,000 people have used mobile money. As of February, 77,200 establishments accepted the payment method nationwide.

To popularise the service to the public, Viettel 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. As OpenGov Asia had reported, MIC 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 presents many opportunities.

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