Asia Business Channel

Vietnamese turning to cashless payments

Vietnamese consumers as well as their counterparts across Asia are increasingly turning to cashless payment systems and contactless payments that make the process of payments easier and faster.

Visa Credit Card Systems, recently polled 4,000 consumers for its Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Report. Consumers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam were polled for the report and more than half of consumers in Vietnam who were questions said that they are aware of contactless payment systems.

According to Visa’s report, the volume of contactless transactions has been growing at an average of 44% over the last year.   At the same time, the total volume of purchases that were made using Visa contactless cards and systems increased an average of 43% during the same period.

Sean Preston, Country Manager for Visa in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, said of the survey’s results that: “Vietnamese consumers, retailers and financial institutions are embracing the concept of going cashless. We’re seeing very positive growth in the usage of Visa contactless payments as more consumers understand the benefits of speed, security and convenience that contactless payments can bring to their everyday purchases.”

According to Visa, approximately 30% of Vietnamese consumers have used contactless payments and 60& are interested in trying it. In Vietnam, beauty products and fashion products and merchandize are the main items purchased using contactless payments.

Contactless technology is shifting the in-store payment landscape, opening up space for consumer-centric innovation. Contactless payment provides a safer and more convenient purchasing experience for customers and a more effective solution for issuers’ sales and customer satisfaction, and improves checkout productivity for merchants. 

In order to move Southeast Asia forward, Visa held a conference in May which stressed that payment security is the most important consideration in the Asia Pacific region related to cashless transactions and contactless payments.

Increases of mobile usage and urbanization across Asia are driving the appetite for digital payments. Half of the region’s population lives in towns and cities, and more than 1.3 billion of the 1.9 billion internet users in Asia Pacific access the internet via their smartphones.

Asia Pacific is an US$11 trillion market in terms of payment volume. Currently, more than 55% of all transactions are still cash, meaning there is a US$6.1 trillion cash opportunity waiting to be converted into digital payments.

While new innovations are set to enhance the payment experience for consumers, security and maintaining the integrity of the payment system is key to growing both online and retail commerce. The fast-changing payment ecosystem will require security measures that do not come at a cost of convenience for both customers and merchants.

Joe Cunningham, Head of Risk Asia Pacific Visa, said: “Payment security and convenience were once considered opposing forces. Not anymore. We have reached a point where security is embedded in the process. It doesn’t come at the cost of convenience but, rather, it enables innovation.”

“Visa is committed to ensuring our network operates at the highest level of security available and will continue to steer the industry towards the adoption of strong technologies based on industry-standards such as EMV chip, tokenization and point-to-point encryption.”

Closer to home in Vietnam, around 90% transactions are still cash. However, the increased adoption of mobile and contactless payment technology will see electronic payments continue to penetrate into everyday payment segments like supermarkets, coffee shops, and cinemas, reducing the reliance on cash.

Visa also reinforced the importance of taking a standards-based approach to innovation and applying a consistent set of principles for security, reliability and interoperability.

“Visa advocates a standards-based approach to new innovations so all stakeholders in the ecosystem can benefit and participate. We want to promote standards that make it easier for all parties in the payments ecosystem to adopt and deploy new technologies that meet the highest security standards,” added Mr. Cunningham.
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