11:38 | 26/08/2015 Companies
(VEN) - Vietnam Economic News’ My Phung talked to Sean Preston, Country Manager, Visa Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, about their achievements and plan to expand in Vietnam. Preston was optimistic about his company’s great opportunities and potential development in Vietnam.
What is your view on recent development in the financial services sector in Vietnam?
As foreign direct investments and tourists continue to rise, Vietnam’s financial services sector will grow in proportion. There is a substantial amount of foreign capital flowing into the country, and as such, a robust financial sector is required to help ensure that Vietnam is able to make the most of this. For Visa specifically, we are always looking to serve our cardholders by increasing points of acceptance around the country, to ensure that Visa cardholders from everywhere can pay simply and securely. Furthermore, we see great strides being taken by banks here to encourage more people to use electronic payments. Visa has a rich history and has done a great job of building strong relationships with our financial institution clients. We continue to work closely with many of the banks in Vietnam to offer fast, simple and secure payments. As a leading global payments network, Visa is the enabler of commerce.
Can you highlight the achievements of Visa since operating in Vietnam?
Vietnam is an incredibly exciting market for Visa. The growth in the use of electronic payment products, such as credit and debit cards, added US$1.2 billion to Vietnam’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2008 and 2012, according to a study conducted for Visa by Moody’s Analytics, a leading independent provider of economic forecasting. Card usage makes the economy more efficient, yielding a meaningful boost to economic growth, year after year, through a multitude of factors including transaction efficiencies, consumer access to credit and consumer confidence in the payment system overall. Visa Vietnam has achieved key milestones in advancing electronic payments.
Cross-border transactions represent a quarter of Visa’s payment volume. But recent tourist visa waiver for European countries is a welcoming sign. eCommerce too is growing rapidly, with eCommerce penetration doubled from 2013 to 2014.
Could you share the plan to expand operation in Vietnam in the near future?
Visa’s business has always been to offer the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere. All business objectives feed into that: as aforementioned, growing active cards in market and expanding points of acceptance in different categories.
In addition, we see major opportunities in Vietnam with the growth of eCommerce. According to the Vietnam E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency, eCommerce sales in Vietnam are expected to hit US$4 billion this year.
When you consider that 10 years ago just under 13 percent of the population had access to the internet, this is truly phenomenal growth, and augers well for the future of the economy.
Presently we are working to further open up the world of eCommerce to consumers, and a large part of this is offering products that cater to the different needs of online shoppers. We see debit and prepaid products as being an ideal solution for many consumers who want to enjoy the convenience of online shopping, but don’t have the need for a credit card.
Similarly, we also offer virtual cards, which act like debit cards but simply allow consumers to designate an amount of money to a given set of card details, which can then be used for purchasing online. Building uptake of these products will be central to growing the eCommerce side of our business.