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Are there opportunities for social payments in Vietnam?

Experts say there is great potential for social payments in Vietnam thanks to the high number of social media users.

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For example, if you want to buy goods from a seller on Facebook, you can reach an agreement about the price, and then the seller will send a request for payment through the chat box.

You click the request and choose the amount you have to pay. After the authentication with fingerprint or password, the money will be transferred to the seller’s account, and there is no need to open any apps of third parties or leave the chat box.

This is the solution that PayME, an e-wallet, has introduced to those who sell goods via social media. Individual users can also transfer money to each other with this method.

This is not a new payment method. Zalo also launched a service which allows ZaloPay account owners to transfer money via chat boxes when chatting or making sell/buy transactions.

Facebook has a similar solution, Facebook Pay, which allows users to remit money on Facebook app or Messenger. The payment platform of the planet’s largest social network is present in many countries, but not in Vietnam.

However, the payment solutions of Zalo and Facebook are only applied to the users of the same social networks. Meanwhile, PayME’s solution can work on all platforms, no matter which chat software people use, and it is effective for SMS as well.

Social payment, or the use of social media to transfer money to another person or business, according to Le Hoang Gia, CEO of PayME, will quickly become a trend in the time to come.

“Vietnam, with 69 million Facebook users, the seventh highest number in the world, is a potential market for social payments,” he said.

He cited figures to show that Vietnamese in particular and Asian people in general like the method of buying goods through conversations, or through chats. This allows buyers to talk to sellers, get feedback, and learn more about products.

A survey found that in Vietnam, transactions via chat platforms are worth $1-1.2 billion, or 30 percent of total e-commerce value.

With a high number of users, the sale of goods on Facebook or via livestreams is blossoming in Vietnam. This gives great opportunities to payment platforms on social media.

However, despite the great potential, analysts say there are still problems which may hinder its development. The payment method can only be implemented if both sellers and buyers install PayME. If buyers don’t use the app, the payment will take more time.

There are many big names in the e-payment market, including MoMo, Moca, Payoo, VNPAy, AIrPay and ZaloPay and tens of bank apps. So it will not be easy for a startup like PayME to persuade users to install its app. 

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