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ECONOMYBANKING & FINANCE

Vietnam to removes daily transaction limit for e-wallet users

Updated at Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019, 21:49
The Hanoitimes - Following the removal of the limit, Vietnam’s central bank said it would only maintain the monthly limit of VND100 million (US$4,284) for each individual.
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s central bank, plans to lift the daily transaction limit at VND20 million (US$856.81) for e-wallet users, the governmental portal reported. 
 
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.
The SBV announced the information at its press briefing held on June 10, responding to the recommendation of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) that such limit does not reflect actual transactions, as the prices of some electronic products and services have exceeded the VND20-million threshold. 

Following the lifting of the limit, the SBV said it would only maintain the monthly limit of VND100 million (US$4,284) for each individual. 

Statistics recently showed that the average transaction value through each e-wallet reaches VND58,000 (US$2.49) a day, totaling merely VND1.74 million (US$74.56) a month. Meanwhile, the average figure globally is estimated at VND5 million (US$206) per month. 

Pham Tien Dung, head of the SBV’s Payment System Department, said Vietnam’s monthly limit is not low compared to other countries. 

Nevertheless, Dung noted there has been growing trend of e-wallet provider allowing cash topping up , ewallet-to-ewallet transfer and cash withdrawal. 

This would mean e-wallets now promote the use of cash, Dung added.  

Dung said the recent pilot service of mobile money, which allows people to transfer money through cellphone account instead of a bank account, is also considered a type of e-wallet. Therefore, the limit transaction value for these e-wallet would range from VND5 – 10 million (US$214.17 – 428.34) per day. 

According to Dung, a restriction on transaction value through e-wallet would stand in stark contrast with the government’s policies to promote non-cash payment over the past few years. 

Nevertheless, users can turn to mobile banking for non-cash payment with large transactions, Dung continued, saying a limitation to transaction through e-wallet is a common international practice. 

Moreover, a transaction limit is required to prevent the exploitation of possible loopholes during the verification process, namely the Know Your Customer (KYC), Dung asserted. 

This is particularly important in Vietnam as such process has not been fully optimized, causing difficulties for local authority tracking the owners of e-wallets in potential cases of fraud or money laundering, Dung stated. 

The Ministry of Industry and Trade informed e-payment in Vietnam recorded one of the highest growth rates in the world, at 35% per year, leading to a booming of e-wallet providers over the past few years. 

However, as of the end of 2018, only 4.2 million e-wallet users have linked to bank accounts, while transactions through e-wallet only accounted for nearly 1% of total non-cash payment value. 

According to a plan on non-cash payment in Vietnam in the 2016 - 2020 period approved by the prime minister, by the end of 2020, the ratio of cash transactions will be reduced from 90% in 2016 to below 10%. 
Nguyen Tung
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