Vietnam eyes cashless market with card payment scheme

A scheme to promote cashless payment in Vietnam in the 2016-20 period has been approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc

A woman holds her plastic near some card readers at a point of sale in Vietnam.

The plan is intended to have over 300,000 card readers installed at points of sale (POS) across the country by the end of 2020, which are expected to process around 200 million transactions a year.

All supermarkets, malls and modern distributors will be required to have card readers installed by that time to spur cashless payment, according to the scheme.

Seventy percent of suppliers of water, electricity, network and Internet services are to accept card or online payment, which is meant to encourage half of the households in major cities to switch to these paying methods.

The scheme also looks to introduce modern payment services to rural and remote areas.

By the end of 2020, at least 70 percent of Vietnamese citizens from 15 years of age will have had a bank account, reducing the proportion of cash in all means of payment to below ten percent.

The efforts will include low fees for online payers of tax and administrative procedures and reduced charges for interbank transactions, while additional fees will be imposed on cash transactions.

There had been 106 million bank cards in use in Vietnam as of the second quarter of 2016, 3.5 times higher than the figure in 2010, according to statistics by the Payment Department under the State Bank of Vietnam.

Nationwide, there are over 17,330 ATM booths and more than 240,660 POS devices installed, according to the same source.

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