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Bank card payments gain popularity
PANO - Monday, March 19, 2012, 20:44 (GMT+7)
Photo: baoquangninh.com.vn

Total non-cash payments in Vietnam reached 32 billion USD by late 2011, showing that consumers are increasingly using bank cards for their transaction, according to the Bank Card Association.

The Dong A Joint Stock Commercial Bank (DongABank) is one of the banks with the largest number of cards issued, with more than 6 million cards.

Non-cash payments using the bank's cards in 2011 increased by 40.64 percent compared with the figure in 2010.

Payments through DongABank's international payment cards climbed to 141.57 billion VND, accounting for 21 percent of the total turnover.

Trinh Thuong Thuc, head of the card-payment services office of the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) in HCM City , said the bank has issued 6 million domestic payment cards and 1 million international payment cards.

Total payment via Vietcombank cards has achieved an annual growth rate of 30 percent.

Last year, total payments via domestic cards issued by Vietcombank reached 30 billion VND (1.43 million USD) per month, Thuc was quoted as saying in Sai Gon Tiep Thi newspaper.

He also said the volume of payments via domestic credit cards rose more quickly than those through debit cards.

Godfrey Swain, managing director and head of personal financial services at Hong Kong – Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC), also told the newspaper that HSBC had recorded a significant growth in credit-card services.

Over the last three years, total payments via HSBC cards grew by over 90 percent per year.

Most HSBC cardholders were Vietnamese, and 50 percent of their card payments were made abroad, mainly in Singapore , the US , Hong Kong, the UK and Australia.

Vietnam is considered one of the most dynamic markets for bank cards, with an annual growth rate expected to rise to 18.5 percent through 2014, according to the US-based Research and Markets company, which issued its report at the 2011 ASEAN Banker Forum, jointly held by the International Data Group (IDG), the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and the Vietnam Banking Association and Deposit Insurance of Vietnam in HCM City last December.

The number of payment cards, which are accepted at 13,000 ATMs and 70,000 points-of-sale nationwide, has more than doubled from 14.7 million in 2008 to 40 million.

Meanwhile, 20 banks use internet banking and eight banks offer mobile-banking services.

Independent market analysts said the domestic card market is faced with tough competition in the card-services segment among banks.

DongABank's general director said the bank plans to issue 600,000 new payment cards, while Thuc of Vietcombank noted that the bank will issue an additional one million cards. Many other banks have developed plans to increase the number of payment cards issued to customers.

Source: VNA

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