According to data published by the World Bank, Vietnam’s population is ~98.5 million people. However, the country boasts around 125 million mobile subscribers but according to reports only 64% of the country’s adult population has bank accounts. It should come then as little surprise giving the rising global penetration in digital payments that mobile carriers in Vietnam.
This month has seen two mobile operators in Vietnam launch trials of mobile money services for the first time, having been awarded licences to do so from the State Bank.
The pilot programme will allow Vinaphone (VNPT) and MobiFone mobile customers to use their mobile subscription as a bank account, capable of paying for goods and services as well as depositing, withdrawing, and transferring money. MobiFone was the first operator in the country to acquire a licence on November 18.
The announcement follows Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s decision back in March to allow telecoms operators and e-wallet providers to apply for two-year licences to trial mobile money services.
In the first phase, the operator’s customers would be able to use their mobile money services at around 600 transaction points around the country, with MobiFone saying they would increase this number to over 10,000 in future through various partnerships.
VNPT already owns a business network of over 10,000 transaction points and has a further network of 200,000 associated business locations in 63 provinces and cities, giving it a nationwide scope.