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Cashless payments account for 70% of retail transactions: survey

By Van Ly

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HANOI – The Covid-19 pandemic has given a boost to e-commerce, with cashless payments accounting for 70% of total retail transactions in Vietnam last year.

According to a survey by tech firm Sapo on some 15,000 retailers, cashless payments have risen drastically as consumers have restricted direct contact to avoid Covid-19 infections. 

Payments through bank accounts became the most popular method, accounting for 36.5% of total transactions, followed by cash (30%), e-wallets (15%), QR code (9.6%), bank cards (8.5%) and payment gateways (0.5%). 

Nguyen Ba Diep, co-founder of the MoMo e-wallet, said social distancing measures aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 had encouraged consumers to turn to cashless payments over the past two years. 

As of mid-December 2021, MoMo e-wallet had 31 million users, increasing by 11 million against September 2020 and 20 million against 2019.

Some 140,000 retailers active in multiple fields across the country now accept payments through e-wallet. MoMo’s partners have also risen from 40,000 in September 2020 to some 50,000 at present.

Thanks to the rising number of users and partners, MoMo’s revenue in 2021 was nearly twice as much as in 2020. 

Data of the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS) showed that transactions made via the NAPAS system in 2021 surged 94% in volume and 131% in value year-on-year. 

Besides cashless payments for retail transactions, the State Bank of Vietnam has asked NAPAS to promote cashless payments for public transport services to encourage the use of public transport. 

According to Sapo’s survey, while most other industries suffered a decline in revenue, retailers on e-commerce platforms and other digital channels saw their revenue soar last year, accounting for 11.2% of total retail revenues. 

Some 73% of respondents said they had shifted their business online, which helps them cut labor and premise costs and reach out to more customers. 

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