E-wallet transaction limits impede e-payments: VCCI

By Ha Truong    June 28, 2019 | 10:19 am GMT+7
E-wallet transaction limits impede e-payments: VCCI
Non-cash payment is a growing trend in Vietnam.

Transaction limits will prevent electronic payments growth in Vietnam, says the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Thanh Phong uses at least five e-wallets. The 28-year-old employee of a Vietnamese tech firm describes himself as a long-standing fan of cashless payment, for which he carries several debit cards and credit cards (Mastercard and Visa) and uses his e-wallets as much as he can.

"At first they lured me with big promotions, and then there was the convenience. Less than VND1 million ($43) in pocket is enough for my daily expense."

Almost all of his colleagues also use e-wallets. "It’s free, quickly recognized by fingerprints or FaceID for urgent needs, even for transferring wedding money gifts," Phong said.

Non-cash payment is a growing trend in Vietnam. According to PwC, the number of Vietnamese people making mobile payments in stores is growing fast in Vietnam. 

"Our survey showed that the percentage of consumers using such services in-store increased by 24 percentage points, to 61 percent, in a single year," the tax and consulting services firm said in its Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019 report.

By the end of 2018, 4.2 million e-wallets were linked with bank accounts and 10,000 points accepted e-wallet payments, the State Bank of Vietnam's (SBV) Payment Department reported. There were 29 e-wallet issuers including Momo, Airpay, ZaloPay, Vimo, VTCPay, Vi Viet, SenPay and TrueMoney.

To promote cashless payment in Vietnam, a draft circular about intermediary payment services was recently published by the SBV, asking for feedback.

Under the draft circular, the maximum daily and monthly payment limits for individual transactions are VND20 million ($857) and VND100 million respectively. For organizations, the transaction limits are VND100 million per day and VND500 million ($21,430) per month.

Commenting on the draft circular, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said it would restrict business freedom and fail to meet users’ needs.

The chamber noted that the prices of many kinds of goods and services like electronic devices, laptops, air tickets, hotel rooms and tours exceed VND20 million.

Additionally, the proposal for e-wallet transaction limit would force both individual and organizational customers to open two or more accounts, which would be costly, it claimed.

Instead, the VCCI proposed that users are allowed to choose transaction limits that suit their needs, based on per capita income and personal consumption.

Pham Tien Dung, head of the SBV's Payment Department, has said in response that the draft circular aims to prevent illegal activities like tax evasion. He pointed out that VND100 million ($4,290) monthly limit is not at all low since average payment via e-wallets is just VND5 million.

 
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