E-payments boom in Vietnam as customers seek safer options

By Ngan Anh   March 25, 2018 | 08:38 pm GMT+7

The country's e-payments grew 22 percent to $6.14 billion in 2017.

Electronic payments are taking off in Vietnam thanks to a boom in internet usage and smartphone ownership.

E-payments in Vietnam grew 22 percent in 2017 from the previous year to $6.14 billion, Nikkei Asian Review quoted data from Statista, a local market research firm, as saying. The figure is projected to double to $12.33 billion in 2022.

According to economists, the potential for the e-payment sector is huge due to the expanding middle class and improved communications infrastructure.

More than half of Vietnam's population of nearly 92 million people is online.

VNG, the operator of the country's most popular messaging app Zalo, plans to install terminals for its ZaloPay e-payment service at 1,000 locations by the end of this year.

ZaloPay terminals will first be available mainly at convenience stores and electronics shops. The service allows users to deposit money and pay for online transactions and utility bills. It can also be used to transfer money from bank accounts and handle remittances using QR codes.

State-owned PetroVietnam Oil also introduced a mobile payment system in February.

PV Oil is accepting mobile payments using an account card and QR code. The system is expected to ease congestion at gas stations in a country with more than 40 million motorbikes. Moreover, payment records can be accessed online, allowing business users to keep track of fuel expenses.

Vietnam's e-payment pioneer MoMo is also racing to expand. In addition to paying for online purchases, airline tickets and utility bills, MoMo users can pay for Uber rides thanks to a tie-up deal signed between M-Service and Uber Technologies in November 2017.

Foreign companies have taken note of Vietnam's e-payment potential. China's Alipay, operated by e-commerce giant Alibab, signed up with a Vietnamese company in November to provide e-payment services.

Banks are also getting involved. Maritime Bank and Sacombank have launched their own QR code-based online payment services that can be used at stores and restaurants.

The increase of e-commerce companies like Lazada and Sendo is also contributing to rising e-payments as online shoppers, many of whom do not have credit cards, can avoid paying cash on delivery, a practice that encourages theft by delivery workers.

 
 
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