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Payment intermediaries have great potential in Vietnam

The field of payment intermediaries in Vietnam at this stage was considered to have high potential, becoming attractive to many foreign investors,

 General Secretary of the Vietnam Banks Association Nguyen Quoc Hung told a seminar in Hanoi on Wednesday.

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The seminar of intermediary payment and fintech organisations. — Photo congthuong.vn

E-wallet services and intermediary payment gateways are in the development stage, while people have initially accepted and used the services of e-wallets, said Hung.

People's needs and consumption habits have shifted from offline to online, along with the explosion of e-commerce platforms and social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statistics showed that there are more than 100 operating fintech enterprises, mainly in the field of payments, followed by personal finance, and peer-to-peer lending.

The State Bank of Vietnam has granted a licence to provide intermediary services to 43 non-banking organisations; in which 13 organisations are members of the Vietnam Banks Association.

Currently, there are more than 80,000 QR code payment points, 78 organisations providing payment services via the internet, 49 organisations providing mobile payment services, 30 commercial banks and six organisations providing intermediary payment services.

The intermediary payment organisations have regularly checked, reviewed, revised and supplemented their business processes, trained and retrained staff to meet the increasing service needs of the people, and always accepted provisions of law and the direction of the State Bank in payment activities.

Companies are focusing on investing in infrastructure and technology for non-cash payments, especially electronic payments, with improved quality, meeting the increasing demands of society.

Data of the State Bank of Vietnam showed that the total number of payments via internet channels soared by 262.5 per cent in the past five years, the payment value grew by 353 per cent, mobile payments rose 1,000 per cent in volume but 3,000 per cent in value.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, payment intermediaries have still operated smoothly, safely and effectively and have appropriate policies to reduce fees for users.

However, the general secretary of the Vietnam Banks Association Nguyen Quoc Hung also pointed out the inadequacies of payment intermediaries such as difficulties in implementing customer identification measures; the legal framework on payment intermediary services and fintech is still lacking and inconsistent, thus causing problems in implementation.

In addition, the number of users of e-wallets and online payment methods was increasing, but the coverage was still low and mainly concentrated in urban areas, he added.

Mechanisms for co-operation and data sharing among banks, credit institutions and payment intermediaries and fintech organisations was unclear, and not really open, he said.

The participation of foreign investors helps Vietnam's payment intermediaries have more financial resources, opportunities to learn management skills, receive modern technology, but also creates pressure and competition for domestic intermediary payment service providers.

At the seminar, on behalf of payment intermediaries and fintech organisations, Hung suggested that the Government soon issue a decree to replace Decree 101/2012/NĐ-CP dated September 12, 2012 on non-cash payments to create a legal corridor for banks.

Hung also suggested that the Government soon issue a decree on personal data protection to fully and comprehensively regulate the protection of personal data to prevent and minimise the disclosure, leakage, buying and selling of personal data.

He also proposed to supplement regulations to improve the responsibilities of affiliated banks in co-ordinating with e-wallets, share information identifying customers of banks so that the e-wallet could simplify the procedures and information when opening an e-wallet.

Source: Vietnam News

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