Is Vietnam edging closer to mobile money adoption? That appears to be the case after the announcement of an extension to the existing mobile money service pilot.
The government has issued a resolution permitting the extension of the pilot use of telecom payment accounts for small-value goods and services until 31 December 2024. In 2021, the prime minister approved the pilot of mobile money service nationwide for two years, starting from 9 March 2021. In November of that year, as we reported at the time, MobiFone became the first Vietnamese operator to be permitted to provide mobile money services in the country.
The service allows customers to use their mobile communications accounts to carry out payment for small-value goods and services, money transfer, direct deposit and withdrawal at outlets and transaction points of telecom providers throughout the country, among other forms of money exchange. All of this can be done without a bank account, a smartphone or an internet connection.
English-language news service Vietnam News says that, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications, the number of customers using the mobile money service was above 3.9 million by early May 2023, tripling the figure for the same period last year.
The service points out that, the number of clients in rural, remote and mountainous areas reached over 2.7 million; that’s 69% of total users.
There are now more than 9,953 mobile money service points nationwide (up 12% from March), and 15,326 units accepting payment via mobile money (up 0.2%). The total number of withdrawals, transfers and payments through the mobile money service was over 26.1 million, at a total value of about US$70.1 million.