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  • Vietnam moves away from cash transactions

    Jan 11th, 2017

    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has signed a policy decision encouraging cash-free transactions in Vietnam in order to reduce the number of cash-based deals, improve overall electronic payment methods and control tax evasion. Under the plan, by 2020, total cash transactions would total less than 10% of total market transactions; all supermarkets, shopping malls and distributors would accept credit cards; 70% of water, electronics and telecommunication service providers would accept cash-free payments from households and individuals, and 50% of total urban households would use electronic payment methods for daily transactions. The policy also proposes the development of new payment methods for rural and remote areas in order to encourage financial inclusion and increase overall access to transaction services, so that at least 70% of Vietnamese over the age of 15 would have bank accounts by the end of 2020. Social welfare and pensions would also be paid through electronic payment methods. “Cashless payment is an inevitable step,” said Le Xuan Nghia, a member of the National Advisory Council on Finance and Monetary Policy. “This move will save both time and cost to the nation, as well as to businesses and individuals.” The few remaining challenges, he added, include online security for customers at commercial banks and the need for an automatic payment centre to be established by the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) to connect between paying customers and businesses or commercial banks. He believes this could be achieved in three to four years, noting that countries like Singa­pore, Malaysia and Thailand have long had such centres. — Viet Nam News/Asia News Network