Fintechs flock to Vietnam, but cash is still ‘King’

16-Dec-2017 Intellasia | Vietnamnet | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Analysts believe it is not by chance that Samsung, Ant Financial Services and Facebook joined the Vietnamese fintech market this year.

Samsung on September 13 officially launched SamsungPay, a mobile payment app, in Vietnam.

A representative of Samsung said the conglomerate hopes it can attract a high number of users in Vietnam where Samsung smartphones are popular. Seven banks have connected SamsungPay, allowing ATM and credit card holders to use the ‘wave to pay’ technology.

SamsungPay’s joning the Vietnamese mobile payment market, according to analysts, is a sign showing that Vietnam has attracted fintech giants.

Two months ago, Jack Ma visited Vietnam to attend the large annual event on e-payments. This indicated that Ant Financial Services will come to Vietnam after taking over Lazada, an e-commerce firm.

Before Jack Ma’s arrival in Vietnam, Facebook set foot in the Vietnamese fintech market cooperating with the Military Bank to set up eMBee, a financial transaction channel via fanpage, the first of its kind in Vietnam. The bank hopes it can have 500 new clients via Facebook.

There are 30 million smartphone users in Vietnam and 52 percent of Vietnamese access the internet. Vietnam ranks 15th in the world in terms of internet growth with the growth rate of 9 percent per annum.

Governor of the State Bank Nguyen Kim Anh said that fintech, with its outstanding advantages, is an inevitable trend all over the world, including Vietnam.

However, some analysts said that fintech firms won’t be able to develop rapidly in Vietnam, where cash remains preferable.

Vietnam has a high percentage of young people who use new technology and the internet, and have increasingly high income. However, the number of people accessing banking services remains modest.

“Once cash is still ‘King’, fintech won’t be able to go far,” said a banker.

According to Nguyen Thuy Duong, deputy CEO of Ernst & Young, said though Samsung Pay and the payments through QR code that Alipay and many Vietnamese banks apply are user friendly, users cannot make payments everywhere.

A survey by The World Bank found that 6.2 million adults cannot access financial services because the service providers are too far from them.

Meanwhile, 2.2 million say services are too expensive for them to use and 2.3 million find the procedures too complicated when opening accounts. At least 1.1 million don’t have confidence in the financial system.–but-cash-is-still–king-.html


Category: Finance

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