The Vietnamese government’s efforts to boost cashless payment have shown signs of paying off, with both the number of transactions and their total value seeing double-digit growth in the first months of the year.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment released the latest figures this week in a report reviewing the implementation of Government Resolution No 02/NQ-CP, issued earlier this year to improve the country’s business environment and competitiveness. Cashless payment is among the issues tackled in the resolution.
In the first five months of this year, the total transaction value through the inter-bank e-payment system surged by 23.23 per cent against the same period last year, while the number of transactions increased by 17.63 per cent.
E-payments via the internet also jumped 65.81 per cent in number of transactions and 13.46 per cent in value.
Notably, mobile payments witnessed a year-on-year surge of 97.75 per cent in volume and 232 per cent in value.
According to PwC’s 2019 Global Consumer Insights Survey conducted in 27 territories and countries worldwide, Vietnam is seeing the fastest growth of mobile payments in the world with the percentage of consumers using mobile payments increasing from 37 per cent last year to 61 per cent this year.
“Mobile payment services also are gaining widespread acceptance, especially in emerging regions that have leapfrogged past landline-based telephone systems and gone straight to mobile and smartphones,” the report said.
The latest updates on Vietnamese consumer behaviours released last month by the Vietnamese market research service provider Q&Me in its Vietnam Consumer Trend 2019 also showed that with the nation boasting some of the strongest economic growth in the world, modern trade is on a strong upward trend, especially in secondary cities.
According to the Q&Me report, online shopping has been growing more quickly than ever, with 80 per cent of 1,050 interviewees having shopped online. The most bought items were in fashion, IT and cosmetics. Shopee, Lazada and Tiki were the biggest platforms.
Nearly 70 per cent of the interviewees said their average monthly spending on online shopping was more than 300,000 dong ($13).
According to the State Bank of Vietnam’s (SBV’s) Payment Department, the use of cash is falling as non-cash payments become more common. The growth rate of payments via points of sale (PoS) was high last year at 42 per cent in volume and 29 per cent in value.
Under a government plan on cashless payment in the 2016-20 period approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the ratio of transactions that use cash will be reduced from 90 per cent in 2016 to below 10 per cent by the end of next year.
To further boost cashless payments, banks are proposing tax incentives for businesses that adopt e-payments.
Vietcombank deputy director-general Dao Minh Tuan said businesses had been unwilling to purchase PoS devices or establish e-payment services with banks because there were currently no incentives to attract them.
Incentives, especially in taxes, would attract more businesses to use cashless payments, which would increase payment transparency and reduce tax evasion, Tuan said.
SBV data shows that the country has more than 289,000 PoS. Up to 76 banks provide internet banking services and 44 have mobile payment services. There are 24 electronic wallet providers. VIET NAM NEWS