October 10, 2023
Upon noticing that a customer was struggling to find change to pay for to he (a little traditional Vietnamese figurine made of colored rice powder), Thuy Trang, a street vendor near Hoan Kiem Lake, grinned and instantly provided the QR code, leaving the tourist pleasantly surprised.
“It is convenient for both me and my customers,” said Trang as she handed the toy to a smiling customer who had just paid with her phone.
QR code payments are becoming a daily routine in the city. Starting in October, local authorities in Hoan Kiem District, a major tourist hub in Hanoi, plan to install cashless payment signage in its pedestrian streets, book streets, food avenues, shopping malls, and wet markets.
The ambitious goal is to achieve a 100% cashless transaction acceptance among businesses, both organizations and individuals alike, operating on these vibrant streets by December.
Hoan Kiem District, with its 9,000 individual business households, draws approximately 250,000 visitors daily for tourism and work purposes. This provides an ideal opportunity to promote electronic payment methods in the area. Currently, the district has accomplished 85% of its digital transformation in administrative functions, laying the groundwork for a successful digital transformation in the business sector.
Tran Van Hung from Quang Ninh said, "As a consumer, I find this incredibly convenient. There are times when I don't have physical cash, and all I need to do is scan the code and complete the payment through apps like Momo or VnPay. It's very hassle-free."
|Delegates at the launch of the cashless payment initiative in Hoan Kiem District.
"Cashless payments are so fast. I no longer need to worry about withdrawing cash or dealing with loose change. The banking app allows me to pay anywhere," added Ngoc Diep, a resident of Cau Giay District, Hanoi.
At the launch of the cashless payment initiative in Hoan Kiem District on October 7, Pham Tuan Long, Chairman of the People's Committee of Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, shared that his jurisdiction is almost ready for cashless payment.
“Even today, when conducting transactions on the streets of Hoan Kiem District, people have the convenience of making payments, even for amounts less than VND10,000 (US$0.41), through bank transfers or by scanning QR codes with various businesses and households. Without being presumptuous, it can be said that Hoan Kiem District fully prepared for a significant shift to cashless payment methods,” Long continued.
"We have selected eligible stores, particularly those meeting specific criteria for pre-ordering. Cashless payments initiated by these establishments are gradually extending to nearby businesses. People are getting used to the shift from cash-based transactions to digital payments, even the middle-aged population, who are now willing to embrace cashless options," he noted.
Building upon the pilot initiative in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi will conduct assessments and learn lessons for application on a larger scale. The ultimate goal is to have a cashless payment street in every district and town, with the number of such streets increasing every year.
Nguyen Viet Hung, Director of the Hanoi Department of Information and Communications, explained, "We are collaborating closely with the Hoan Kiem District People's Committee to designate ward-specific areas and work with businesses to educate and guide people, including the elderly, to make cashless payments. We will begin in Hoan Kiem and eventually expand our efforts to encompass all wards in the district. After learning from this experience, we intend to replicate it in all districts and towns throughout Hanoi."
Ha Minh Hai, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, underscored the inevitability of embracing e-commerce, digital transformation, and the shift away from cash payments, especially in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.
“The introduction of cashless streets is significant, as it provides an ideal platform for the city's residents to explore new and modern payment methods. This initiative will help people quickly adapt to digital applications and utilities in the digital age, contributing to the development of digital-savvy citizens and the establishment of a digital society,” he said.
Non-cash transactions are gaining widespread acceptance across various segments of society, ranging from office workers and small businesses to freelance professionals. They are used in commercial transactions as well as public services and span from urban to rural areas.
|City leaders visit a booth from an intermediary payment service provider at the event.
The implementation of cashless streets creates a conducive environment for individuals to explore novel and contemporary payment methods, expediting their access to digital applications and utilities in this digital age. This, in turn, contributes to nurturing a community of digital-savvy citizens and advancing toward the realization of a digital society.
Furthermore, this initiative serves as a means to gradually promote digital payment methods as the means of purchasing and selling goods, thereby propelling the development of smart digital payment services.
Pham Anh Tuan, Director of the Payment Department of the State Bank of Vietnam, shared insights during the event, emphasizing that cashless payments enhance transparency, convenience, and benefits not only for consumers but also for suppliers. This includes simplifying the process of trading goods and managing cash flows.
Additionally, electronic payments are driving the evolution of related systems, including public services, which are now increasingly accessible through electronic payment channels.
The realm of tax management is experiencing greater transparency, as vending machines and bill payment systems are interconnected and subject to systematic and rigorous control, he continued.
The launch of the cashless payment initiative in Hoan Kiem District coincides with National Digital Transformation Day (October 10) and serves as the first step toward the widespread adoption of non-cash payments in all districts, precincts, and towns within the city. This endeavor aims to expedite the digital transformation process and foster the digital economic development of the capital.
It also provides a platform for banks and organizations offering non-cash payment services to introduce their products and services competitively and ethically. The ultimate goal is to ensure that individuals, businesses, and organizations can conveniently and easily access and use these products and services.
Concurrently, the city encourages business activities to adopt non-cash payments, to cultivate civilized and modern streets that contribute to the advancement of the digital economy in the capital.
To work towards achieving its digital transformation objectives, Hanoi released Plan No. 239 in late September, which outlines a series of strategies to build a smart city in Hanoi by the year 2025, with a forward-looking vision extending to 2030.
By 2025, the city aims to have the digital economy account for 30% of the City's Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) and a minimum of 10% in each industry and sector.
Furthermore, the city has set its sights on establishing 2-3 smart urban zones within the region between 2025 and 2030. As part of this endeavor, the city plans to pilot various smart urban services in selected districts.
These initiatives will be closely integrated with the development of a digital government, covering areas such as urban services, healthcare, education, food safety and sanitation, employment, social welfare, and the provision of clean water and electricity services.
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