|Vietnam will pilot a mobile payment program using mobile credits. (Photo: Shutterstock/Vietnam Stock Images)
At least one telecommunication company would pilot the payment system, which can only be used to buy low-priced goods, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a conference Wednesday.
"Vietnam needs to quickly implement [cashless payment] to prevent corruption and improve public convenience."
Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said the telecom infrastructure is not only for communicating but also for a digital economy, industry 4.0 and Internet of Things.
His ministry is trialing a mobile money program for users to transfer money and buy goods using a mobile payment account.
This would boost the economy since people can carry out e-transactions from anywhere, he said.
The PM’s announcement came after Vietnam’s biggest telecom companies, Viettel, VNPT and MobiFone, sought last September to enter electronic payments.
Only 40 percent of Vietnam’s population had a bank account in 2017, but almost 100 percent are connected to mobile networks.
The country has the lowest percentage of cashless transactions in the region -- 4.9 percent the World Bank said last July.
The government has been encouraging cashless payment. A resolution it issued earlier this month recommended that cashless transactions should be made possible for all urban household bill payments by the end of this year, prioritizing mobile payments and payment via card readers.