Mastercard expands collaboration with SmartPay to accelerate cashless payment adoption

July 06, 2023 | 15:06
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SmartPay and Mastercard have announced a significant expansion of their strategic partnership in Vietnam on July 5, with the aim of implementing a digital payment service through Mastercard's QR code. The primary objective of this collaboration is to bolster the digital payment acceptance capabilities of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises and empower them in their operations.
Mastercard expands collaboration with SmartPay to accelerate cashless payment adoption

The ambitious plan entails equipping over 600,000 locations within SmartPay's registered merchant network nationwide with the ability to accept Mastercard QR payments.

In Vietnam, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) represent a vital force, accounting for over 93 per cent of the country's total number of operating businesses and playing a pivotal role in driving economic development.

Despite their importance, these enterprises face a significant hurdle due to inadequate infrastructure, particularly the scarcity of point-of-sale (POS) terminals and other digital payment acceptance technologies. This deficiency hampers their ability to keep pace with the national digital transformation that is reshaping the business landscape.

The latest statistics from the State Bank of Vietnam underscore the remarkable growth of QR code payments in the country. By the end of March 2023, QR code payments experienced an exceptional surge in both volume and value, with a staggering 160.7 per cent increase in volume and a significant 43.8 per cent increase in value.

Moreover, payments conducted through POS terminals also witnessed substantial growth, with a 37.5 per cent increase in volume and a commendable 32 per cent increase in value.

The implementation of Mastercard's QR code in Vietnam holds the promise of delivering a convenient, secure, and seamless payment experience to MSMEs, aligning with the evolving digital-first lifestyle of consumers. By simply scanning a Mastercard QR code or manually inputting an alias provided by any Mastercard QR-accepting merchant, consumers can engage in cashless payments for goods and services using their mobile phones.

This payment method blends the convenience of cash transactions with the security of card payments, eliminating the need for a physical card payment terminal. Furthermore, the flow of funds will be transferred in real-time between the merchant and the consumer, obviating the necessity for any investment in a card payment terminal.

Marek Forysiak, chairman of SmartPay, expressed the company's unwavering commitment to enhancing the quality of life for small and medium-sized merchants in Vietnam.

He highlighted SmartPay's prior integration of the Mastercard card acceptance feature onto SmartPOS devices - an all-encompassing payment acceptance solution introduced by SmartPay in September 2022.

“This integration has been met with widespread acclaim among various small and medium-sized businesses,” Forysiak said, asserting that the integration of Mastercard's QR code represents the logical next step in their endeavour to provide a more convenient and efficient mobile payment solution.

By doing so, MSMEs can broaden their customer base to serve international cardholders, augment revenue streams, and bolster their competitive standing, thus fostering the adoption of cashless payments in Vietnam.

Winnie Wong, Mastercard's country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, underlined the growing appetite among Vietnamese consumers for cashless payments as the nation's digital economy continues to flourish.

She emphasised that QR codes offer a user-friendly and contactless payment solution, making them an ideal choice for those seeking simplicity.

Wong expressed Mastercard's excitement about partnering with SmartPay, stating, 'We are thrilled to collaborate with SmartPay to meet the growing consumer demand for comprehensive digital payment options. This partnership holds tremendous potential in enabling MSMEs to expand their businesses, cultivate customer loyalty, and leverage the transformative advantages of advanced payment capabilities."

"Moreover, this collaboration plays a pivotal role in nurturing an inclusive and empowered digital payment ecosystem, allowing MSMEs to seamlessly accept non-cash payments while providing consumers with a broader range of payment choices. Ultimately, our joint efforts are poised to drive Vietnam's transition towards a cashless economy."

In addition to Mastercard's QR code solution, SmartPay plans to implement other leading acceptance solutions from Mastercard, including SoftPOS. This innovative and cost-effective acceptance solution allows MSMEs to transform their regular smartphones into POS terminals capable of accepting contactless payments made with physical cards, eliminating the need for traditional terminal hardware.

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By Trung Duong

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