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Vietnamese minister urges adoption of mobile money in 2019

Friday, May 24, 2019, 20:02 GMT+7
Vietnamese minister urges adoption of mobile money in 2019
Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung speaks at the “Mobile Money to promote financial inclusion” workshop in Hanoi on May 23, 2019. Photo: T. Ha / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung has touted the advantages of mobile money, which allows people to make electronic transactions on mobile phones, and suggested the technology be adopted countrywide within this year.

Mobile money will help poor people in mountainous and remote areas pay for digitally available services such as healthcare and education, the minister said at an international workshop in Hanoi on Thursday.

The May 23-24 event was held by the communications ministry to provide a comprehensive view on mobile money, a technology that allows people to receive, store and spend money using either a smartphone or feature phone.

The cashless payment solution is usually provided by the same companies that run a country's mobile phone services. Users can also withdraw cash from their mobile money account at designated locations in their home country.

According to the communications minister, mobile money has been available in 90 countries, having attracted nearly 900 million users around the world by the end of 2018.

“Some US$1.3 billion worth of transactions was conducted via mobile money services every day in 2018,” Hung said, adding that the services grow 20 percent globally, and 31 percent in Asia, year on year.

These statistics underscore the need for Vietnam to embrace mobile money, according to the minister.

However, in Vietnam, 99 percent of payment under VND100,000 ($4.3) remain in cash although the country has been promoting cashless transactions in recent years, Hung underlined.

With credit and debit card penetration rates remaining low in Vietnam, mobile money is the most suitable solution to push cashless payment in the country, given a 100 percent mobile phone penetration in the country, he continued.

“No other instrument is more suitable to popularize digital payment to Vietnamese people than mobile money,” Hung affirmed.

“Such a payment platform is the most important means to encourage the development of many fields including e-commerce, start-ups, and innovation.”

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