Cash stifles Mobile Payment
10, September 2013
Despite the great efforts by service providers, the payment via mobile phones (Mobile Payment)
is still far from becoming popular in Vietnam, because Vietnamese people still prefer using cash
Mobile payments taking off in Asia Pacific
A study shows that mobile payments (m-payments) in the Asia Pacific region are expected to
record transactions worth more than two-fold, from 2009 revenues of 1.6 billion U.S. dollars, in
five years, local media reported on Monday.
The Frost & Sullivan study estimates that in 2015, m-payments could exceed billings of 3.6
billion U.S. dollars, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 14.8 percent starting from this
However, the study shows that despite a mobile phone penetration rate of nearly 140 percent,
Singapore has shown little comparable adoption of m-payments which make use of mobile
phones, the Business Times reported.M-payments in the city-state is driven by the use of smart
cards as opposed to via handsets.
The study shows that extensive use of smart cards has resulted in a lack of significant incentives
for consumers to switch to mobile payment solutions using the handset.
Bankers, telcoms launching services massively
In Vietnam, the concept of making payment via mobile phones was first heard when Asia
Commercial Bank (ACB) allowed clients to use mobile phones to query bank account balances,
transfer funds, pay cable TV, Internet bills. After that, a lot of other banks, including
Vietcombank, Techcombank, BIDV and Vietinbank also provided many facilities to users.
Not only bankers, big telecom companies namely VinaPhone, Viettel and MobiFone, which have
good telecom infrastructure, have also been trying to cooperate with bankers to develop
Especially, online payment companies such as VinaPay, VnPay, PayNet have also launched a lot
of services allowing to make payment via mobile phones, creating most favorable conditions for
users to easily purchase mobile phone cards, game cards or online learning cards.
In late 2008, another concept - “e-wallet” was introduced. The appearance of VnMart, MoMo,
Payoo, MobiVi developed by mobile service providers like VinaPhone, MobiFone and Viettel
has helped Mobile Payment market become more bustling.
Mobile Payment “inferior” to cash payment
Experts and service providers believe that with the high mobile phone access level of
Vietnamese people, Vietnam is a potential market for Mobile Payment services. However, to
their surprise, Mobile Payment still has not become popular after eight years of development.
Jan Jirovec, Business Development Director of BSC Praha, which provides multi-channel
banking solutions from Czech, who carried out research works on banking services in Vietnam,
said that a lot of problems still can be seen in mobile payment in Vietnam.
“Vietnamese people still prefer using cash in making payment, while mobile phone users hesitate
to learn about the facilities provided by enterprises,” he said, adding that Vietnam is still in the
early development stage of mobile payment, which European countries once experienced more
than 10 years ago.
Sharing the same view, banking experts have also said that the habit of using cash to avoid risks
of Vietnamese people has hindered the development of mobile payment.
According to Duong Thu Huong, Secretary General of the Vietnam Banking Association VNBA,
though ATM cards have become popular to Vietnamese people for the last 10 years, 83 percent
of card holders say they only use cards for the only purpose – withdrawing cash from ATMs.
Therefore, it is understandable why Mobile Payment remains unfamiliar and unfavorable to the
majority of people.
However, Huong has also blamed commercial banks on the low popularity of modern payment
facilities in Vietnam. “Many people want to use Mobile Payment, but they do not know where
they should start,” she said. This means that bankers and service providers have not paid
appropriate attention to launching media campaigns and giving basic introductions to users.
Meanwhile, some experts believe that Mobile Payment still cannot develop in Vietnam because
Vietnamese clients still have doubts over the security of banking services.
Despite the difficulties, bankers still inject big money in developing Mobile Payment services,
because they believe that “early birds can catch worms”. “Mobile payment will develop strongly
in two or three years, and it is now the right time to make investment,” a banker said.
A latest GMO publisher took part into mobile payment market
With the bundle of prepaid scratch cards will be the first release on Sept, 2013, MC-Corp, the
leading game mobile online publisher (GMO), officially entered the panel of the self-printed and
issued scratch cards in Vietnam.
According to the latest information from this GMO’s channel, MCC Company will be officially
put into operation the system of their own charge card known as Mobay Card. Initially, the
system will have four types of payment cards that including of each value ranging from 20,000
($1), 50,000, 120,000 to 500,000 VND ($25) and will be released through the online game shops
in big cities as Hanoi and HoChiMinh City. HCM and the cards service online agencies (where
to buy card codes online).
It can be said, the moment is a difficult time for the issuance of prepaid cards because there are
many popular intermediate units linking through easily payment cards. This system will
integrated with the readiness of three giants Telcos’s phone cards as (Mobiphone, Vinaphone,
Viettel) and 3 game cards (Silver Gate, Zing Xu, Vcoin) and to be powerful payment gateway for
any game, top-up and m-commerce services. This solution is the first choice for any new game
publisher because of lower costs spent for building a complete recharges system from the initial
stage such as the printed-card management, issuing and agent management system...
With this action, MCCorp has entered the game publishing game group with their own charging
system like VTC, FPT, VNG, Soha, Garena ... the new payment system will help MCCorp be
more active in the payment of its own independent. However, with the rapidly trend of payment
system on mobile, today whether the release of the new card and mobile payment system of MC-
Corp, could it be a possible and "trendy"?
(Source: collected from BDVN, Gam8, VNBridge)