HCM CITY — Total non-cash payments in Viet Nam reached US$32 billion by late 2011, showing that consumers are increasingly using bank cards for their transaction, according to the Bank Card Association.
|Clients withdraw money at a DongA Bank ATM machine in HCM City. Domestic consumers are increasingly using bank cards for their transactions. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hiep
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 per cent compared with the figure in 2010.
Payments through DongABank's international payment cards climbed to VND141.57 billion, accounting for 21 per cent of the total turnover.
Trinh Thuong Thuc, head of the card-payment services office of the Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam (Vietcombank) in HCM City, said the bank had 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 per cent.
Last year, total payments via domestic cards issued by Vietcombank reached VND30 billion (US$1.43 million) per month, Thuc was quoted as saying in Sai Gon Tiep Thi newspaper.
He also said the number of payments via domestic credit cards rose more quickly than those through debit cards.
Cardholders are using more cards to pay for goods in the domestic market. Between 30 and 40 per cent of cardholders' transactions were made in the Vietnamese market, according to Thuc.
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 over 90 per cent per year.
Most HSBC cardholders were Vietnamese, and 50 per cent of their card payments were made abroad, mainly in Singapore, the US, Hong Kong, the UK and Australia.
Viet Nam is considered one of the most dynamic markets for bank cards, with an annual growth rate expected to rise to 18.5 per cent 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 Viet Nam (SBV) and the Viet Nam Banking Association and Deposit Insurance of Viet Nam 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 was faced with tough competition in the card-services segment among banks.
DongABank's general director said the bank planned to issue 600,000 new payment cards, while Thuc of Vietcombank noted that the bank would issue an additional one million cards.Many other banks have developed plans to increase the number of payment cards issued to customers. — VNS