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As digital payment methods surge in popularity, expats in Vietnam are not alone in embracing the change to cashless transactions.
Gone are the days of 'cash is king', and cashless payments are changing how we all transact and manage our finances. But, while the convenience is clear, is this change entirely a good thing?
The advantages are clear; secure encryption and biometric authentication lowers the risk of theft, and many expats see these payment options as a safer alternative to carrying cash.
Even if you are unlucky enough to fall victim to a pickpocket, you can rest assured that your money is not accessible. For the hapless tourist, unwary expat or tired local, cashless payments reduce the risk of being short-changed, scammed or robbed.
Competition among payment providers has also increased, with companies vying to provide the most convenient and secure digital payment options to attract customers, including expats living in Vietnam.
Many banks now offer internet banking to foreigners and have fully-fledged English-language versions of their mobile applications to simplify the process.
However, navigating the local banking system and ensuring all paperwork is in order can still pose challenges for some expats (hands up if you've ever been locked out of your account because you forgot to send the bank your new work permit?).
Despite these hurdles, the shift towards a cashless society in Vietnam is inevitable, as seen by trends worldwide.
In the UK, restaurant chains such as Prezzo and Pizza Hut simply do not accept cash anymore and, according to a 2019 survey, in South Korea just 17 per cent of total transactions involved cash.
To become a truly cashless society, international cooperation will be needed to ensure seamless transactions for expats with bank accounts outside the country though, as the competition among payment providers heats up, expats can expect even more convenient and secure options in the near future.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, it's important for expats to adapt and embrace new technologies to stay ahead of the curve.
Whether it's mobile banking, e-wallets or other digital payment methods, these tools make transactions easier and more secure for everyone.
In conclusion, around the world the days of 'cash is king' are over. Cashless payments are coming to take the crown, and will forever change the way we transact and manage our finances.
For expats living in Vietnam, this shift towards digital payments offers a wealth of opportunities and should be embraced to stay ahead in an increasingly digital, and cashless, world.
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