09:47 | 18/07/2016 Finance - Banking
(VEN) - E-commerce in Vietnam continues to face numerous difficulties due to the unpopularity of electronic payments. This issue was discussed at a recent workshop held by the Vietnam Institute for Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
E-payments in Vietnam have increased rather strongly in the recent period but remain incommensurate with their real potential. Le Duc Anh, an expert from the Vietnam E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency (VECITA) under the MoIT, said the use of e-payment means in e-commerce remained limited. For example, e-payments accounted for just three percent of the total value (VND600 billion) of 800,000 orders made on the online shopping day of 2015.
Sharing this opinion, Dr. Nguyen Thi Nhieu from the Vietnam Institute for Trade said according to data from Vinaset - the world’s largest e-payment network, Vietnam’s e-payment index in 2015 was 37 percent, equal to that of Thailand but much lower compared with many other countries in the region such as Indonesia (45 percent), Malaysia (47 percent), and other Asian countries such as Singapore (55 percent), China (60 percent), and the Republic of Korea (70 percent).
The unpopularity of e-payments is attributed to the fact that most e-commerce websites still accept cash payments while just 53 percent of those allow online orders , and those accepting e-payments account for a mere 17 percent. Moreover, information security remains a concern to most consumers, making them unwilling to use e-payment means. The results of a survey by VECITA showed that 74 percent of buyers still used cash in payments for orders they made online, while 41 percent chose to pay via banks, and payments through e-commerce websites just accounted for eight percent.
Improving the legal framework
According to the Vietnam Banks Association, 38 commercial banks and six non-bank financial institutions so far have been allowed to provide e-purse services. Existing switching systems allow the owners of cards issued by one bank to withdraw cash or pay at most automated teller machines (ATMs) or points of sale (POS) of other banks. Approximately 69 million payment cards currently are in circulation in Vietnam, including 6.25 million international payment cards. Sixty-seven commercial banks provide internet banking services, while mobile banking services can be sought from 37 commercial banks.
Hoang Tuyet Minh, Deputy Director of the State Bank of Vietnam’s Payment Department, said, “The number of cards and personal accounts has grown annually and now is 200 percent higher compared with 2010. Banks are completely capable of serving e-payments by inpiduals and businesses.”
Minh added that in the coming time the State Bank of Vietnam would continue improving the legal framework and create favorable conditions to develop new forms of e-payment and ensure safety, security and stable operations of e-payment systems in order to promote e-commerce in Vietnam.