Two of China’s biggest e-wallets have joined the mobile payment market in Vietnam.
There are now about 20 e-wallet service providers in Vietnam, including well-known names such as Momo, Ngan Luong, VTC Pay and Payoo
However, there is no official report from the State Bank about the number of Vietnamese e-wallet users. The agency said 3 million wallets had been issued in Vietnam by the end of September 2016. Service providers estimate that 10 million wallets are in use in Vietnam.
Analysts say this is a modest figure compared with the great potential of the market. But they say the market will heat up soon as the two Chinese players have arrived.
After the visit of Alibaba’s owner Jack Ma to Vietnam in late 2017, the Chinese group signed a strategic cooperation contract with Vietnam’s NAPAS to bring Alipay e-wallet to Vietnam.
With cooperation among NAPAS, banks and Alipy, sellers in Vietnam will accept payment in Alipay wallet made by Chinese visitors for goods and services in Vietnam.
Sources said that the service will be launched this year.
WeChat Pay has announced a plan with Vietnam’s VIMO e-wallet which will accept payment of Chinese travelers.
VIMO.vn will be the first payment intermediary allowing Chinese travelers to use WeChat Pay in Vietnam dong at shops accepting VIMO in Vietnam.
The cooperation does not include WeChat Pay’s use of VIMO’s banking connections to process payment transactions between Vietnamese consumers and businesses.
Thirty percent of total foreign visitors in Vietnam in 2017 were Chinese.
Current laws do not allow foreign e-wallets to operate in Vietnam independently. They can only be resent in the market through cooperation with Vietnamese companies.
An analyst said that Alipay doesn’t compete directly with Vietnamese e-wallets, but it could be a potential threat.
He went on to say that in the future the licensing policy may change and Vietnam will open its doors widely to foreign e-wallets that will provide services to Vietnamese customers as well.
Banking experts said there are favorable for mobile payments to develop: the retail market and e-commerce are thriving, while bank cards and smartphones are more popular.
According to the State Bank of Vietnam, the number of cash payment transactions decreased from 14.02 percent in 2010 to 11.45 percent in August 2017.
The presence of fintech firms has also helped the mobile payment market. More than 30 fintech firms were established in Vietnam as of 2016, two-thirds of which provide mobile payment services.