QR code payment doesn't work for gas

By Ngoc Dien   January 31, 2024 | 03:12 pm PT
QR code payment doesn't work for gas
A woman struggles to pay for gas by scanning a QR code at a station in Vietnam. Photo by Ngoc Dien
We would think that cashless payment would be quick and convenient, but it has created longer waiting lines at the gas station near my house.

The station added POS devices a couple of months ago, to join the wave of cashless payment transitions in Vietnam. Well, modernization was thought to bring convenience, but it's so far been completely the opposite here.

Just recently, I came home late, at nearly 10 p.m., and decided to stop by the station to refill my motorbike. And it was the usual scene ever since the POS option was introduced: dozens of people were waiting because a girl had trouble scanning the QR code for payment.

The person traveling with the girl eventually took out some cash to pay the station.

More people are opting for cashless payment. Some of my friends and colleagues no longer carry cash with them. But money transfer does not go smoothly every time. There could be errors with the payment app, or with the internet, and this causes other people to wait longer.

Recently a noodle eatery near my company even put up a sign saying, "We don’t accept payment via e-wallets." The eatery’s owner said it’s troubling and she would have to pay some fee to the banks to implement an e-payment system.

Cashless payment is quick and convenient with adequate infrastructure. But the distance from the reality to the ideal is still far in Vietnam.

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