Mobile banking remains “promising land” for banks

VietNamNet Bridge – Commercial banks have been moving ahead with their plans to boost the mobile banking, since they need to renovate technologies to improve the service quality and expand their service coverage.

Vietnam, mobile banking, technology, core banking, MIC

Experts believe that mobile banking would enter the hot development period in the time to come, when the number of smart phone users increases rapidly. A report says that 50 percent of the mobile phones to be sold in the future would be smart phones.

Le Thanh Tam, Chief Executive Officer of IDG ASEAN said he can see the great potentials for developing electronic payment,  believing that 98 percent of Vietnamese would use mobile banking services in the next five years

Nghiem Thanh Son, Deputy Director of the Payment Department under the State Bank of Vietnam, said 26 commercial banks had been providing SMS Banking by July 2012. It was estimated that 4.1 million clients had used the services who had made over 2.2 million transactions.

By that time, 19 commercial banks had been providing Mobile Banking service which had had 2.9 million clients who had made 11.9 million transactions.

However, some experts keep doubtful over the prediction about the rapid development of mobile banking services in Vietnam.

The experts said that though more and more Vietnamese use smart phones, they still prefer making payment in cash or using ATM cards to withdraw cash from ATMs instead of making transactions via mobile phones.

This explains why banks’ online services have only been provided in big cities and urban areas, while they still cannot reach out to urban and remote areas, where local people even don’t have the opportunities to access to banks’ financial and payment services.

Therefore, Vietnam is still considered the “promising land” for mobile banking services, which means that its great potentials remain on paper and have not turned into reality.

A report of the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) showed that by the end of 2012, Vietnam had had approximately 122 million mobile subscribers, which means that one Vietnamese person had more than one mobile phone number.

However, the number of mobile banking users is much lower than the mobile phone owners.

Son from the State Bank of Vietnam said the problem lies in the fact that banks have been focusing modern banking services only in big cities and developing services based on the clients’ private accounts.

According to the World Bank, only 30 percent of the Vietnamese who are at the working age can access bank finance services.

Meanwhile, a report of the bank showed that by March 2012, more than 120 payment services via mobile phones had been provided in over 70 countries and territories worldwide.

Mobile payment is a modern payment service which is developed on the basis of the wireless telecommunication technologies of mobile networks. The service allows clients to use mobile phones to make payment, remittance via mobile devices, including mobile phones, tablets at any times, while no need to come directly to bank branches.  

According to Cong Thuong, 9 non-bank institutions have been providing payment services, allowing Vietnamese to approach more convenient payment services through Internet and mobile phones.

Buu Dien

Vietnam, mobile banking, technology, core banking, MIC