Vietnam faces challenges in going cashless

19-Jan-2019 Intellasia | DiendanDoanhnghiep | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Although Vietnam has put technology into life and has attempted to digitise many areas, moving towards a non-cash payment society, which still faces many challenges.

Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Nguyen Kim Anh evaluated two-year deployment of the non-cash payment (NCP) development project in Vietnam in the period of 2016-2020, saying: “The payment field has been actively and decisively directed by SBV, focusing on the service provision to customers, strongly applying the achievements of the 4th industrial revolution as a decisive factor”.

Promoting technology application

According to Nguyen Kim Anh, in 2018, SBV submitted to the prime minister to discuss Decision 241/QD-TTg approving the Scheme on boosting payment via banks for public services: taxes, electricity, water, tuition fees, hospital fees and social security programmes; at the same time, issuing the basic set of standards for domestic chip cards and the basic set of standards “Technical specification of Quick Response Code (QR Code) displayed from payment acceptance units in Vietnam” as a basis for credit institutions, payment intermediaries to apply to increase the ability of payment, the safety and the security of customer transactions.

Currently, the payment sector has achieved some outstanding results such as: improving the legal corridor for NCP activities, promoting the application of information technology and telecommunications in the NCP development, strengthening the security in payment operations, ensuring the safety, efficiency and smoothness of interbank electronic payment systemNational backbone payment system. Especially, some Commercial banks have studied and cooperated to deploy new technologies and solutions into mobile payment operations such as biometric authentication, QR Code, encryption of card information (Tokenisation), non-contact payment (contactless), mobile Point-of-Sale (mPOS) technology, etc.

Meanwhile, Pham Tien Dung, director of the Payment Department (SBV), said that the NCP has made some positive changes. Infrastructure and technology for NCP, especially electronic payment, continue to be focused on investment, quality improvement and efficiency promotion, meeting the increasing demand of society and adapting to economic globalisation process. ATM/POS network is also invested, upgraded and repaired by banks to serve customers. Bankcards continue to become a familiar means of people. The quality of card services is also focused and enhanced by banks. “Although the proportion of cash withdrawal transactions at ATM has increased over the years, the growth rate in 2018 tends to decrease. Electronic payment in the government area and public administrative services is strengthened”, Dung stressed.

Regarding the safety and the security, Le Manh Hung, director of Information Technology Department shared that in order to ensure safety for information technology systems providing banking services, SBV has frequently and continuously reviewed, issued or amended many legal documents to guide credit institutions in strengthening security of banking transactions and payment systems.

In addition, the banking sector also promotes communication, propaganda and awareness raising on the use of e-banking, encourage and support people in accessing and using effectively online banking services. At the same time, banks receive comments directly from customers to complete and improve the quality of products and services. SBV has been cooperating to carry out financial education programmes such as “Good money, smart money”, “Wise children”, etc., to improve knowledge and reduce risks for customers when using financial and banking products.

According to Thomas William Tobin, Head of Retail Banking for Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank), although Vietnam has made progress in digital technology, there is still a lot of work to be done. 2019 will be a year of huge changes in payment technology, especially contactless cards, after SBV issues the basic set of standards for domestic chip cards and basic set of standards “Technical specification of QR Code”.

Moreover, Le Hai Binh, vice Chair of E-Commerce Association, said that it was high time to redefine Cash on Delivery (COD), and should also consider the plan of shipper, using the Point-of-Sale (POS) machine to pay by card instead of receiving cash as for now. This is certainly a suggestion that banks and regulatory agencies want to promote cashless payments.

Orientations and solutions for the next two years

Deputy Governor Nguyen Kim Anh said that in the near future, SBV would continue to carry out some major orientations and solutions to promote cashless payment, thereby helping to shape and step by step create a cashless society in Vietnam, specifically:

Firstly, implementing the assigned tasks of banking industry in Resolution No. 01 and 02 of 2019 of the government: (i) Promoting the application of basic standards of QR codes to ensure compatibility among QR code payment solutions; (ii) Researching and reporting to the prime minister a plan to allow cash deposit into electronic wallets without bank payment accounts; (iii) Coordinating with the Ministry of Finance to publicise the list of compulsory transactions via bank.

Secondly, initiating effectively a number of schemes and strategies in the payment sector such as the non-cash payment development project in the period of 2016-2020, the scheme of promoting bank payment for Public services: electricity, water, tuition fees, hospital fees and social security programme payment, the strategy of monitoring payment systems for the period 2014-2020.

Thirdly, promoting card payment through POS devices; researching and applying new solutions and technologies in electronic payment at payment service providers such as QR code, encryption of card information, mobile payment, contactless payment, biometric authentication, etc. to enhance innovation, create breakthrough development in supply of payment products and services.

Fourthly, deploying payment models in rural, deep-lying and remote areas associated with the implementation of the national strategy on comprehensive finance; piloting a number of new payment models, issuing and applying a trial legal framework for Fintech activities in the banking sector.

Fifthly, strengthening the supervision of payment systems, payment intermediary services, ensuring stability, safety and efficiency; implementing measures to ensure security and safety in electronic payment.

Sixthly, promoting information and propaganda on NCP and financial education; strengthening measures to protect consumers’ interests, while improving the quality and efficiency of payment services.


Category: Finance, Vietnam

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