Since Covid-19 broke out, cash transactions have decreased significantly, replaced by the explosive development of electronic payment forms. 

According to a Visa report, 65% of Vietnamese consumers carry less cash in their wallets, 76% of consumers currently use e-wallets, and the percentage of card users is higher (82%). More than 80% of consumers are using cards, QR code payments and e-wallets at least once a week.

According to the Payment Department of the State Bank of Vietnam, in April 2022, non-cash payment transactions increased by 69.7% in quantity and 27.5% in value compared to the end of 2021. 

In the first four months of the year. transactions through the interbank electronic payment system increased by 32.37% in value; and financial switching and electronic clearing systems rose by 88.4% in volume and 139.8% in value over the same period in 2021.

In March 2021, the Vietnamese Government approved a two-year pilot for Mobile Money services. As of April 2022, 1.1 million new Mobile Money accounts had been opened. More than 60% of Mobile money users are in rural, mountainous, remote, border and island areas.

The e-wallet market continues to explode in Vietnam with the participation of many new names. Currently, there are about 40 e-wallet providers, of which Momo, Moca and ZaloPay account for 90% of the market share. According to a Visa survey, 85% of survey respondents have at least one e-wallet or payment app. Some 71% use these apps at least once a week.

Vietnam is in the process of building a national QR code framework. The Vietnam National Payment Corporation (NAPAS) has just launched VietQR - a common brand for QR code payment and transfer services, processed through a network of NAPAS and member banks, payment intermediaries and partners at home and abroad.

By April 2022, VND 56,000 billion had been transferred through the VietQR money transfer service. The growth rate was 45-50% per month, becoming the largest growth service, seven times higher than other services that NAPAS handles.

The emergence of the "Buy Now, Pay Later" (BNPL) format has put the e-payment industry on a growth platform. Valued at about $491.3 million in 2021, this method is expected to grow strongly in the 2021-2028 period.

In April 2021, Thailand and Vietnam launched a cross-border payment system that allows Thai visitors in Vietnam or Vietnamese visitors in Thailand to make QR payments through mobile banking applications.

In the cryptocurrency race, according to Decision 942, the State Bank of Vietnam is tasked with piloting the use of virtual currency in the next three years. Although the pilot program has not yet set a specific time, the actions of policymakers in Vietnam will be the focus in the coming time.


It is forecast that non-banking solutions based on cryptocurrency and e-wallets are a trend for the future in the region. Converting and storing fiat currency presents new opportunities. Payment by QR code and by the “Buy First, Pay Later” method will become popular. B2B and digitized supply chains are the next development trend of e-wallets.

Seizing the opportunity, banks and payment service providers, especially fin-tech companies, are continuing to expand their products and ability. Competition in this field is increasingly fierce.

Timo, Vietnam's first digital bank, signed a strategic partnership with Viet Capital Bank in 2020 to further expand its services. Meanwhile, VPBank launched its first digital bank, VPBank Neo, in 2021. Techcombank partnered with Amazon Web Services and Backbase to deploy its cloud services. NextPay, a payment processing company, aims to raise $100 million.

The Vietnamese market is like a 'tight shirt', and there is not much 'land' for other suppliers. Major e-wallets are struggling as they fail to demonstrate a competitive advantage over traditional banking-developed applications that have caught up with e-wallet functions.

The need to gain a competitive edge in the future may prompt e-wallet providers to merge as a few super apps. For example, Grab bought a 3.5% stake in Moca to link the payment function to the e-wallet. Airpay (now ShopeePay) sold a 30% stake to Sea Ltd, which owns Shopee Vietnam.

E-wallets have shaken hands with major partners. Tiki and Lazada have integrated digital payment solutions such as Momo and eMoney. ZaloPay has welcomed 269 new partners in the past year besides existing brands, such as Baemin, Sendo and Circle K.

The explosion of digital payments brings with it more sophisticated cybersecurity risks. Based on Kaspersky's survey on Information Technology Security 2020, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam suffered the most scam attacks in the region in 2020. If Vietnam's digital economy reaches $52 billion by 2025, businesses will face more and more cybersecurity risks. 

Ms. Dinh Hong Hanh, Deputy General Director of Pwc Vietnam, said that digital transformation promises an inclusive, sustainable and fair financial future. The payments sector supports the growth of the digital economy and accelerates innovation, while maintaining its role as the backbone of the economy.

Tran Thuy