Cashless Day changes locals’ lives for the better
The Covid-19 pandemic is fostering cashless payment, making it more popular in Vietnam.
Instead of having to get up early in the morning every day to go to a nearby market, Nguyen Thu Hang from Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi, can stay in bed a bit longer while still being able to buy stuff online via mobile apps.
Non-cash payment has become an irreversible trend in Vietnam. Photo: Viet Linh
“Given the current serious pandemic situation, I have been using online grocery shopping services for the past three months,” Thuy told The Hanoi Times.
In addition to the convenience that online shopping can bring, Nguyen Thi Hai Yen (Tay Ho District, Hanoi) said sales programs offered by online shopping apps are of major attraction.
“For the same foodstuffs or things that you normally buy in supermarkets, using online shopping services such as Now, Grab or Baemin can help you save VND50,000-70,000 (US$2.18-3.5), or even more on special occasions. Not a big saving but accumulated in a month, it would be a considerable amount,” Yen explained to The Hanoi Times.
There is no denying that online shopping has made it easier for people to shop, so this kind of shopping has become popular in recent years, especially during the Covid-19 outbreak in Vietnam.
Yen and Thuy are among many customers who have changed their habits from offline shopping to online shopping in the country. The most important thing is that they can check the quality and fabric of the product.
Since 2019, the Vietnamese Government has chosen June 16 as Cashless Day in a bid to raise public awareness about the benefits of non-cashless payment methods.
Three years on, cashless payment has been increasingly seen as irreversible among Vietnamese consumers, and its popularity further increases in the current Covid-19 pandemic.
A series of events and activities will be held virtually on Cashless Day 2021 (from June 14 to August 30), including a rap competition "Rap with Lona", an online game entitled Dau truong khong tien mat (Cashless battle), and webinars on personal financial management tools for students.
The annual Cashless Day is part of a broader effort in turning Vietnam into a cashless nation in the near future.
Economist Vo Tri Thanh told The Hanoi Times that it is not a surprise that more people are turning to online shopping as people look to minimize direct contact amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Online payments not only help enterprises save costs from cash transactions, but it also remains key in promoting financial transparency by addressing issues of tax evasions or frauds," he noted.
Statistics from the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS) revealed in the first five months of this year that its automatic clearing house (ACH) system has processed over 800 million transactions for a combined value of over VND8,000 trillion (US$349 billion), equivalent to a surge of 113% year-on-year in quantity and 169% in value.
As of April, the number of transactions via the internet jumped by 66% year-on-year and 31.2% in value; the respective rates via mobile phones rose by 86.3% and 123.1%; and 95.7% and 181.5% via QR Code payment, in that order.
“For the Cashless Day 2021, a series of events would be held to provide an opportunity for the public, especially the youth, workers and low-income earners to try and have a better understanding on non-cash payment methods,” the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said in a statement.
Head of the SBV’s Payment Department Pham Tien Dung expected the public’s positive response to new payment technologies would lay the foundation for the digital economy to boom.
Such expectation is in line with a study from various international organizations that predicted transactions via mobile phone in Vietnam to sharply increase by 400% in 2025 as the country embarks on digital transformation.
In the coming time, Dung said the SBV aims to continue promoting non-cash payment methods by finalizing a legal framework in financial transactions, including the draft of a new decree in this regard, and pilot a fintech regulatory sandbox.
“The SBV is scheduled to submit to the prime minister a strategy on non-cash payment development in the 2021-2025 period, while actively carrying out the pilot implementation of mobile money and initiatives for digitalization in the banking sector,” Dung said.