Vietnam accepts payments via mobile phone accounts in two-year pilot project
Published 10 March 2021
To accelerate cashless payments and financial inclusion, Vietnam’s Prime Minister has approved the Mobile Money pilot project.
This project will allow e-wallet service providers and telecommunications businesses to implement Mobile Money services in the next two years, starting from March 9.
The pilot project aims to contribute to the development of non-cash payments and the access and use of financial services, especially prioritising rural, mountainous, remote, border and island areas of Vietnam. The government expects that the Mobile Money service’s pilot implementation will act as a practical basis to review, develop, and issue official legal regulations for service provision in Viet Nam.
The pilot project allows cash top-ups and withdrawals from mobile accounts at agent locations, or from bank accounts and e-wallets. Transactions are only applied domestically, with a transaction limit of VND10 million per month for each account.
Following the development of advanced technologies such as biometric authentication, QR Code, tokenisation, together with the development of population database for electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC), Minister of Information and Communications of Vietnam Nguyen Manh Hung previously said that mobile money would boost the economic growth of 0.5 per cent for countries which allowed it.
According to a report of the BIDV Training and Research Institute, mobile money has already presented in 90 countries with nearly 870 million registered accounts, 272 apps and a daily transaction revenue averaging $1.3 billion.
In Vietnam, there is still significant room to grow. The country had around 129.5 million mobile subscribers, about half using 3G and 4G, and 43.7 million or 45 per cent of the country’s population using smartphones, according to the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV). However, cash in circulation still accounted for 20 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, and just 63 per cent of adults (from age 15) register bank accounts.
Earlier last year, three telecommunications giants in Vietnam – Viettel, MobiFone and VNPT – registered to add payment intermediary to their business lines, paving the way for penetrating into the mobile money market.
Last year, the central bank announced that it was hastening procedures to propose to the government the issuance of amendments to Decree No 101 in 2012 on accelerating cashless payments.
The updated Decree will provide the necessary grounds for effective state management in the field of payments, ensure feasibility concerning the IT application to develop modern and safe payment products, and ensure close and synchronous coordination among the ministries and agencies process of formulating and implementing the Decree.