Mobile Money still "finding the way"

March 23, 2022 | 09:04 am GMT+7

Mobile Money was under consideration for three years, with the expectation of becoming a "personalized wallet" for every Vietnamese citizen, but after three months of trial, the results are not as good as expected.


The latest report of the Ministry of Information and Communications shows that Vietnam has 588,000 Mobile Money subscribers, including 402,000 customers of Viettel and nearly 200,000 subscribers of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT). Overall, after three months of implementation, the number of Mobile Money subscribers accounts for just 0.47% of the total number of existing mobile subscribers.

Mr. Truong Quang Viet, Deputy General Director of Viettel Digital Services Corporation, said that with a network of transaction points covering 11,000 communes throughout the country, Viettel Money ensures that wherever there is telecommunication network, there is digital service infrastructure. Viettel has also launched attractive promotion campaigns to encourage customers to experience the Viettel Money digital financial and commercial ecosystem.

According to VNPT, with a diverse service ecosystem including mobile, telecommunications, and Internet networks with more than 30 million subscribers (which cover more than 30,000 schools, more than 20,000 pharmacies, more than 7,000 medical facilities/hospitals, and have payment connections with over 5,000 public administrative services and essential services), Mobile Money - VNPT Pay fully meets payments, shopping and utility needs associated with people's daily life.

"VNPT's advantage is that it owns more than 10,000 transaction points, 10,000 authorized transaction points and more than 200,000 associated business points, covering 63 provinces and cities nationwide," said Mr. Nguyen Son Hai, General Director of VNPT Media Corporation.

Mr. Nguyen Truong Giang, General Director of VinaPhone, said that compared with the potential and total number of existing mobile subscribers of VinaPhone, the number of Mobile Money users is still quite small. However, this is a very new field, so it should be done with caution.

According to a representative of MobiFone, in the first phase, the service will be deployed on a system of more than 600 stores and transaction points nationwide, before being expanded to the entire system of more than 10,000 transaction points of MobiFone.

Low number of subscribers

The number of Mobile Money users has not increased because users are not very interested in this form.

Mr. Nguyen Son Hai said the transaction ceiling of 10 million VND/month is a big limitation. The number of users will rise if the spending ceiling is relaxed.

At present, Mobile Money is mainly used in payment services on the National Public Service Portal and some public administrative services, not small payments.

“Users can only transfer money from a Mobile Money account to another Mobile Money account in the same network or to a bank account/card. This is also why the Mobile Money service is not convenient like other forms, "said Mr. Hai.

Bui Son Nam, Deputy General Director of MobiFone, said Mobile Money applies strict regulations on information authentication with users/subscribers, so it takes time. Specifically, the service user's data must match the subscriber's database.

Many mobile phone subscribers mainly register with their old identity card number. If they want to register and use Mobile Money service, they have to update their new identity card numbers with the network operator. This regulation causes users to hesitate to update information, so they are not ready to use the service.

Mobile Money has to compete with e-wallets. Currently, more than 70% of adults in Vietnam have a bank account. Non-cash payment methods including e-wallets, QR codes, Internet Banking are also popular.

This year the Ministry of Information and Communications has set a task to build mechanisms to support, promote, manage and supervise the implementation of Mobile Money. Hopefully, this positive move will support Mobile Money to explode in the near future.

- The total number of registered Mobile Money accounts globally is 1.21 billion.

- The number of monthly active Mobile Money accounts globally is 300 million, up 17%/year.

- The total value of Mobile Money transactions reached 767 billion USD last year, or 2 billion USD per day.

- Transaction value is expected to exceed 3 billion USD/day by the end of 2022.

Source: Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA)