Vietnam highlights obstacles to mobile money growth

Vietnam highlights obstacles to mobile money growth

Vietnam has highlighted several hurdles to spreading the popularity of mobile money among mobile phone users, but operators still back it for major growth.  

In a statement from the Vietnamese Ministry of information and communications, VNPT deputy director general Nguyen Son Hai was quoted stating the monthly limit of VND10 million (US$438) for transactions per user did not provide enough “elbow room” for bills and daily expenses.

Another key obstacle to mobile money’s popularity is how it is not linked to a bank account like e-wallets despite performing similar functions, presenting “inconvenience” to those who make payments frequently via bank accounts.

Deputy general director of MobiFone Bui Son Nam highlighted how mobile money requires people to subscribe through a new version of state-issued ID cards, but many citizens still use old cards and face the inconvenience of going in-store to update details.

Bui also noted alternative financial technologies such as QR codes, e-wallets and internet banking have already taken the majority of market share. Bui highlighted Vietnam has a high rate of adults with bank accounts at 70%, which does not provide the landscape for mobile money to flourish.

Currently, there are approximately 588,000 mobile money users in the Southeast Asian nation which accounts for 0.47% of total mobile phone users, according to data from the government.

The technology was launched in December last year by Viettel and VNPT.

VinaPhone general director Nguyen Truong Giang backed the technology to “skyrocket” in growth.

“We believe that once mobile money coverage becomes large enough in Q3 this year and subscribers get used to the money, [the] mobile money market will begin to skyrocket.”

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