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Foreign firms enter Vietnam’s payment market, charge low fees

VietNamNet Bridge - While Vietnamese banks are trying to collect fee from clients, e-wallet service providers are not charging fees, or collecting low fees to lure more users, analysts say.
VietNamNet Bridge - While Vietnamese banks are trying to collect fee from clients, e-wallet service providers are not charging fees, or collecting low fees to lure more users, analysts say.


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There is no gap in technology used by Vietnamese and foreign wallets



They noted that many of the world’s big players have joined the Vietnamese payment market. Standard Chartered Private Equity and Goldman Sachs have poured $28 million into MoMo. 

Ninety percent of 1Pay stake has fallen into the hands of TrueMoney from Thailand. Alipay from China in late 2017 signed a strategic cooperation agreement with NAPAS (the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam), preparing to provide e-payment services to Chinese travelers to Vietnam. 

Ngo Trung Linh, CEO of Payoo, said there is no big gap in technology used by Vietnamese and foreign wallets. The competitive edge of payment service providers lies in their financial capability.

Many of the world’s big players have joined the Vietnamese payment market. Standard Chartered Private Equity and Goldman Sachs have poured $28 million into MoMo. 

Linh said that firms with large long-term capital will be able to thrive. Payment companies have to spend big money to familiarize Vietnamese with e-payment methods. 

“Like e-commerce firms, payment companies still have to spend to lure more users. They also have to spend money to expand their networks,” Linh said.

Anxious about the number of foreign firms entering the payment service market, Bui Quang Tin, a banking expert, said the 132 million cards issued by banks does not mean banks can control the market. 

He said that while Vietnamese banks are still busy collecting fees, payment companies are not, because they strive for a long-term business strategy.

“They have calculated thoroughly when accepting losses in the first phase of operation,” he said.

If payment companies can attract more users, they will have huge capital to use which can bring bigger benefits than the fees they collect from services.

“The competition in the payment market is getting fierce. If banks don’t change their strategy, they will lose their share in the home market,” he said.

Some experts have expressed concern about the future of the payment market if it is controlled by foreign firms, warning about illegal remittances abroad. 

They recalled the case that was discovered recently by the police. 200,000 yuan, or VND700 million, paid by Chinese travelers at a kiosk of the Bai Chay Tourism Center were remitted to China through POS. 

The three POS installed there were brought from China and did not register to make payment via the Vietnamese banking system as requested.


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