Vietnam: Encouraging or enforcing cashless payments?

Jan. 9, 2019 Share
A recent development in the Vietnamese government's plan to make the country cashless has been announced; the move would see all household bills paid in non-cash forms by the end of 2019.

Vietnam's government announced their plans to "make Vietnam cashless by 2020", but with great promise, comes great desperation when the deadline looms. With one year to go, the government are looking to ban non-cash payments to meet their goals.

Today, only 4.5 million people out of 96 million (approximately) pay their electricity bills through cashless payments. This begs the question, if 95% of people are reluctant to adopt non-cash payment methods for their bills, shouldn't their reasons be heard rather than muffled with unwanted fees or bans on cash?

'In order to encourage individuals as well as organisations to start cash-free transactions, fees on cash payments could be increased while those on electronic payment for credit organisations and commercial banks could be reduced.'
" 'Deputy PM signs no-cash policy' Viet Nam News By Minh Son (Jan 3, 2019)

Cybersecurity is also a major concern and, while payment network centres may be necessary for creating a ecosystem between banks, retailers and payment providers, all electronic infrastructures are still prone to power outages and human error. This is why maintaining cash as an option is the only way to allow protect against the costs of a payments network crash.

Excerpt from VnExpress

Provincial and municipal leaders have accordingly been tasked with instructing all schools and hospitals, as well as electricity, water, sanitation, telecommunications and postal companies in urban areas to coordinate with banks and intermediary payment service providers in collecting bills and fees via cashless transactions.

The government has recommended that establishments prioritise mobile payments and payment via card readers, and requested that the task be completed before December this year.

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Last Updated: Feb. 5, 2019