Jun 12, 2019 / 11:26

Non-cash payment helps promote financial inclusion in Vietnam

The Hanoitimes - By 2020, the number of phone subscribers is projected to reach 80 million, creating a favorable platform for promoting mobile payment, financial services and e-commerce.

The government expects a broader application of non-cash payment would help promote financial inclusion in Vietnam, according to Le Thi Thuy Sen, deputy head of Communications of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV). 
 
Overview of the conference. Source: Ngoc Thuy.
Overview of the conference. Source: VGP.
The move aims to ensure that no one is left behind in accessing financial services and products, Sen said at a conference discussing the potential of a cashless society in Vietnam held on June 11. 

Over the past few years, the SBV has been cooperating with the media in promoting non-cash payment in Vietnam and raising people’s awareness on this payment method, Sen added. 

A better access to financial services and products is expected to build people’s trust on the government’s monetary policy and the banking system, in turn facilitating non-cash payment and preventing the spread of “black credit”, referring to the case of money being lent at exorbitant interest rates, far exceeding the ceiling rate of 20% per year stipulated in the Civil Code. 

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said non-cash payment would bring many benefits, including greater transparency in the economy, preventing corruption and money laundering, saving cost for the society, improving efficiency of the banking system and in production and services. 

Last year, mobile payment in Vietnam grew over 160% in terms of transaction value compared to 2017 and Vietnam is considered one of the fastest-growing markets for mobile payment in ASEAN, said Hue. 

Vietnam currently has a ratio of 140 phone subscribers for every 100 people, nearly 60 million subscribers of 3G and 4G network, while about 99% of the national territory has been covered with the 4G network. 

By 2020, the number of phone subscribers is projected to reach 80 million, creating a favorable platform for promoting mobile payment, financial services and e-commerce, Hue stated. 

Nevertheless, Hue acknowledged the fact that cash remains a preferred payment option for the public, as non-cash payment only accounts for 14% of total payment values. 

The government targets the percentage to double in the next three years to around 30%, thus it requires strong efforts from government agencies in applying new technologies and drafting new regulations to accommodate new trends in the finance- banking sector, Hue said. 

Among emerging countries, Vietnam recorded the strongest increase of mobile payments at 61% in 2019 from a 37% growth rate year earlier, according to PwC’s latest Global Consumer Insights Survey. 

In 2018, the inter-banking e-payment system safely processed transactions worth VND73,000 trillion (US$3.13 trillion), averaging US$13 billion transacted per day and up 25% year-on-year, while the transaction value through mobile payment grew 169.5% year-on-year.