Vietnam to launch mobile money in June
Mobile money is about to be launched in Vietnam despite worries about management methods.
Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said the ministry and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) plan to license mobile money service to telcos. It is expected that mobile money services will be carried out throughout the country, giving a push to non-cash payment and the digital economy in Vietnam.
Mobile network operators, especially the ‘big three’, VNPT, Viettel and MobiFone, have been waiting for licenses to provide mobile money on a trial basis service for one year.
According to Nguyen Son Hai, deputy CEO of VNPT Media, VNPT has infrastructure conditions to provide mobile money. It now has over 100,000 sale points throughout the country which can provide the service immediately.
As for Viettel, it can take full advantage of the network of 60 million mobile subscribers, more than 2,600 stores, post offices and supermarkets, more than 270,000 agents/ sale points and more than 30,000 employees who can come to every commune and ward.
Mobile network operators are excited about mobile money because the service is very promising. According to SBV, 50 percent of people have bank accounts, and transactions via e-wallets such as MoMo, Moca and ZaloPay have become increasingly popular in Vietnam.
|Solidiance predicted that Vietnam’s fintech market in 2020 may have value of $7.8 billion (it was $4.4 billion in 2017). Digital payment solutions now make up 89 percent of the fintech market in Vietnam.|
Solidiance predicted that Vietnam’s fintech market in 2020 may have value of $7.8 billion (it was $4.4 billion in 2017). Digital payment solutions now make up 89 percent of the fintech market in Vietnam.
However, mobile payments for small-value services (less than VND100,000) and services for those in rural and remote areas who still cannot access financial services remain open.
Meanwhile, according to GSO, 40-50 percent of 130 million mobile subscribers in Vietnam don’t use smartphones and 3G/4G data service.
These are potential clients of mobile money.
Le Dang Dung, acting president of Viettel, believes that mobile money would help promote non-cash payments and satisfy the demand of customers who cannot access traditional banking services.
The limit for mobile payment is less than VND10 million, but with tens of million of subscribers, mobile network operators will become miniature banks. Therefore, analysts have warned about high risks when launching mobile money.
According to BIDV, customers’ data may be compromised and their money may be lost if there is no reasonable management method. Meanwhile, clients may commit frauds, launder money or gamble.
There are two management models for mobile money – MNO (mobile network operator) and bank-led model. According to Tran Hung Son from the HCM City National University, MNO is better for popularizing mobile money.
A mobile money pilot project has been submitted to the Prime Minister for approval, marking a bold step for the development of payments using telecommunication accounts in Vietnam, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Le Minh Hung said.
Telecommunications providers like VNPT, Viettel and MobiFone will join in the payment market.