E-wallet services aim to make money in future
VietNamNet Bridge - The domestic e-wallet market has not developed well in the last eight years since the first e-wallet was licensed, though there are 16 e-wallet service providers.


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According to Bui Quang Tien, director of the State Bank’s Payment Department, 16 non-bank institutions have licenses to provide payment services, including e-wallet services. By the end of September 2016, more than three e-wallets had been launched.

Nguyen Hoa Binh, president of NextTech Group, one of the 16 licensed service providers, said that only a few businesses operate effectively and make profits from niche markets, while the majority of e-wallets face difficulties and have to live on investors’ money.

However, though the market is not yet bustling, more and more investors are queuing up for licenses from the State Bank as they think great opportunities will come in the future.

Foreign investors also think the Vietnamese e-wallet market is promising, so they continue pouring money into the business field. 

The domestic e-wallet market has not developed well in the last eight years since the first e-wallet was licensed, though there are 16 e-wallet service providers.

UTC Investment from South Korea, for example, has taken over 62 percent of VNPT EPay stakes form VMG, while Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs has poured $28 million more into MoMo developed by M_Service. 

NTT Data Corporation, through NTT Data Asia Pacific (Singapore), has obtained the right to control VietUnion, the owner of Payoo e-wallet, while Softpay Mobile from Singapore has bought most stakes of Vietnam MPOS Technology and therefore, possessed Ngan Luong e-wallet.

Meanwhile, FPT Group, the largest domestic IT firm, got a license for e-wallet services in April 2016 and MobiFone is now developing Vimo e-wallet.

Phan Thanh Son, deputy CEO of Techcombank, believes that Vietnam is the ‘golden land’ for fintechs, but the firms are still budding with products at the very beginning. Sixty percent of products are in payment, including e-wallets.

A report on Vietnam’s startups showed that 23 out 39 fintechs are in the payment sector.

Son commented that the legal framework still cannot catch up to the development of fintechs, which is a big barrier. The State Bank allowed e-wallet services in 2009, but only six years later did four companies receive official operation licenses.

While waiting for the legal framework and market conditions to get better, e-wallets have been trying to compete with each other.

According to Binh, the average growth rate of Ngan Luong is 100 percent per annum. The e-wallet deals with payment value of VND5-6 trillion a year. Nguyen Dac Viet Dung from FPT which owns Sendo.vn, also estimates growth rate of over 100 percent per annum.

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Chi Mai

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