In the sensitive time of the Covid-19 outbreak, cash is considered a potential disease transporter in the community. To promote the habit of e-payment among the public in Vietnam, many banks and intermediary payment services are offering free transaction fee.
Presently, many e-wallet providers in Vietnam advise consumers to switch to e-trading to minimize touching cash since this kind of money might contain viruses to harm their health.
Not only safer, e-wallets like Zalopay, MoMo, or Moca are also running 30-to-50-percent discounting programs in certain partner shops.
Ms. Ha Nguyen, living in District 10 of Ho Chi Minh City, shared that she has already installed the app for Internet banking and e-wallet on her mobile phone but has not preferred it. In this time of Covid-19 outbreak and with the offering of lucrative programs from e-wallet providers, around 70 percent of her payment is via this online method.
Statistics from certain e-wallet companies reveal that after this Lunar New Year, transactions using this method doubled, and purchases using barcode scanning increased 100 percent compared to the time before Tet holiday.
Particularly, in the first two weeks of this February, there were hundreds of food and goods orders via apps like GoViet, Grabfood, and Gofood compared to the time before the Covid-19 outbreak.
Taking part in the e-payment promotion campaign are major banks located in Vietnam.
Understanding the normal tendency of bank users transferring their money into their saving accounts at the beginning of a lunar year, Viet Capitalbank suggests its customers to download and install the app Viet Capital Mobile Banking to carry out the task with a bonus interest rate of 0.3 percent per year while offering free transaction fee for online trading via Mobile banking and Internet banking.
Similarly, Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) also provides free service fee for its SMS banking, Mobile banking, and Internet banking until April 2020, along with free external transfers.
HDBank is running a promotion of free service fee for international payment, 50 percent discount of fee for domestic payment, and 50 percent discount of fee for issuing bank guarantee.
Sacombank, meanwhile, is launching a lottery program for card users to win a holiday package of up to US$3,000.
The National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS) offers free or discounts on service fee for credit organizations from February 25, 2020. Accordingly, it provides free switching service for online public service transactions made on official websites or portals of ministries, local authorities, and industries until the end of this year; a 72-percent discount on switching service for 24/7 interbank transfers of VND500,000 (US$21.5) and below, from VND1,800 ($0.08) to VND500 ($0.02) per transaction from February 25, 2020.
This is supposed to encourage the community to use e-payment in the time of Covid-19 epidemic even though it means a revenue decrease of at least 15 percent for NAPAS, said Chairwoman of NAPAS’ Management Board Nguyen Tu Anh. She hoped that no-cash transactions not only gradually change the payment habit among the community but also effectively reduce operation cost of the government.
Reports from several banks in Vietnam show that direct banking is much less than this time of previous years. However, e-payment witnessed impressive growths, such as a 50-percent rise in Sacombank in its Internet banking, Mobile banking, and Sacombank Pay channels.
Similarly, the number of 24/7 interbank transfers last year accounted for nearly 50 percent of all transactions in NAPAS system, displaying a positive switch from cash withdrawing.
To further stimulate the habit of no-cash payment, the State Bank of Vietnam proposes that e-payment service providers urgently devise a suitable program to offer free or discounts on fee for this payment method in accordance with the current promotional program of NAPAS.