Viettel, VinaPhone switch to e-payment
By Ha Van - The Saigon Times Daily
Viettel introduces the BankPlus service at the Vietnam Telecomp 2013 in HCMC last month - Photo: Ha Van
HCMC – Several local mobile service providers, including Viettel and VinaPhone, now are switching to the e-payment segment in the context that their revenues from basic mobile services such as call, text and value added services have declined.
Speaking with the Daily, Nguyen Duc Hung in charge of sales and marketing of the value added service center of VinaPhone, said basic services like phone and text were already saturated and that charges of these services were falling due to the fierce competition from free over-the-top (OTT) services. Because of this, telecom enterprises now are competing with one another in terms of the value-added service and payment service, Hung said.
“Basic and value added services have been tapped thoroughly by telecom companies while only payment is the final segment that is not yet utilized at present. This is the segment bringing huge revenue,” Hung analyzed.
Viettel and VinaPhone are two mobile service operators joining the e-payment sector actively while MobiFone is also making a plan to enter this area.
In particular, Viettel has launched the BankPlus service allowing customers to make payments for water and electricity bills, air ticket purchases and money transfers via mobile phones. The service now is connected among 16 local banks such as Vietcombank, Vietinbank, BIDV and Sacombank, with users set to pay VND11,000 per month to maintain the service.
Account transfers within the same bank costs a minimum VND3,000 for one transaction while account transfers among different banks is charged VND10,000 a time and the transaction check fee is set at VND500. However, certain banks offer free money transfers internally and only charge monthly service maintenance fees.
Pham Trung Kien, director of the e-commerce center of Viettel, informed that the BankPlus service of his firm had already connected 16 banks and attracted 2.4 million Viettel subscribers. Notably, over 1.5 million subscribers perform monthly transactions worth some VND5 million a month each, Kien remarked.
In the meantime, VinaPhone with the e-purse model Momo supports customers via payments for air tickets and game card purchases and other digital contents. At the same time, customers are also able to transfer money through the e-purse model with a maximum amount of VND5 million a day. The service now is being used by 700,000 VinaPhone subscribers.
Besides the basic payment, Viettel and VinaPhone said they were looking to connect with e-commerce websites as intermediate payment tools. According to Hung, VinaPhone is talking with several lenders over the payment channel connection besides cooperating with e-commerce websites to integrate the e-purse Momo as an online payment portal.
Similarly, Viettel is working with local e-commerce websites to launch its payment service in the e-commerce industry next year.