Prime Minister approves Mobile Money pilot programme for two years

March 10, 2021 | 10:39
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The prime minister has approved the pilot application of Mobile Money, which allows the use of mobile phone accounts to pay for small-value goods and services. The decision takes effect from March 9, 2021.
prime minister approves mobile money pilot programme for two years
The Mobile Money service will begin its two-year pilot to promote a cashless society

In Decision No.316/QD-TTg, the prime minister authorised some businesses to join the Mobile Money pilot programme. The businesses need to have licenses to provide intermediary e-wallet payment services; licenses to establish a public mobile terrestrial telecommunications network using radio frequencies or have subsidiaries with permission from the parent company to use telecommunications, network, and data infrastructure.

The businesses can provide services to customers who register their mobile accounts with an identity card, citizen identification, or passport. Customers must use mobile services for at least three consecutive months before registering for the Mobile Money service.

According to the decision, the Mobile Money service will be applied nationwide. However, piloting businesses need to prioritise implementing services in rural, remote, border, and island areas of Vietnam. Mobile Money will only be applicable for domestic transactions and will not be available for cross-border services.

The PM's decision set the duration of the pilot programme to two years from the time the first enterprise is approved to pilot this service.

Customers will be allowed to top up or withdraw from their Mobile Money accounts at physical kiosks, as via bank accounts and e-wallets. They can also pay for goods and services at stores accepting Mobile Money.

In addition, money transfers between customers’ Mobile Money accounts will be supported.

The government also stipulates a maximum transaction limit of VND10 million ($432.94) per month for each Mobile Money account for all transactions, including withdrawals, transfers, and payments.

According to the State Bank of Vietnam, 63 per cent of Vietnamese adults possess a bank account (this was only 40 per cent at the end of 2017, based on figures from the World Bank), yet in 2019, the number of phone subscribers have reached 129.5 million, with 55 per cent owning smartphones – figures on par with Malaysia and higher than Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Furthermore, the infrastructure required to deploy mobile money in Vietnam has been improving.

By Thanh Van

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