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E-wallets struggle to find users

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More than 20 e-wallets have been jostling for market share in Vietnam, which is believed to be a potential market. However, it is not easy to find users. 

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More than 20 e-wallets have been present in the market 


A report of the State Bank showed that by mid-March, 27 units had been licensed to provide intermediary payment services. Of these, more than 20 are e-wallets, while the remaining provide financial switching, electronic clearing and payment portal services.

There are many reasons for banks, technology firms and fintechs to spend money to develop e-wallets. Vietnam has a high percentage of young people who love technology, while the number of smartphone users is high, as well as the number of people without bank accounts

“Consumers are getting familiar with digital services. Besides social networks which they can use free of charge, they now like to use digital services for their daily life, from ride hailing to food ordering, with no cash, and in a convenient way,” said Tran Thanh Nam, CEO of Moca.

Moca andMoMo, Bankplus, Vi Viet and VTC Pay, WePay, Mobivi and Vimo are the best known e-wallets in Vietnam. 

By December 2017, MoMo had more than 5 million users and the figure is expected to increase by 2-3 times by the end of 2018. 

Pham Tien Dung, director of the State Bank’s Payment Department, said at an event in late 2017 that only five payment service providers could make profits from transactions. 

“E-wallets need more time to develop adequately to customers’ needs and market potentials. It will take time to change Vietnamese habits of using cash in payment,” said Nguyen Dinh Thang, chair of LienViet Post Bank, which owns Vi Viet.

Each e-wallet has its own development strategy and targeted clients, according to observers. However, their common problem is the lack of connection with ecosystems and the absence of large-scale payment acceptance network.

In 2017, MoMo ran a costly campaign to increase the number of users by offering attractive discount rates to users and posting ads on many different channels. At the end of the year, the e-wallet decided to strengthen its ecosystem by cooperating with Uber Vietnam. 

However, Uber unexpectedly left Vietnam just three months later.

As for Zalo Pay, the greatest advantage of the e-wallet is that it has a high number of potential clients who use Zalo messaging app.

The cooperation deal of Moca and Grab is expected to generate a powerful mobile payment ecosystem.

The familiarity of MoMo, the strong rise of Zalo Pay and the powerful Moca-Grab are expected to put pressure not only on other e-wallets but also on banks’ traditional payment services.


Source: VNN

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