Banks again urge telecoms operators to cut SMS fees

September 02, 2021 - 15:49


This is the fourth time since last year banks have proposed telecoms operators to cut charges for banking services via SMS. Photo

HÀ NỘI — Telecoms operators still have not cut charges for SMS services in banking, even though the banks have proposed reductions several times.

The Việt Nam Banks Association has proposed for the fourth time since last year that the Ministry of Information and Communications makes moves to lower the charges.

The association said that the banking sector had reduced customer support fees in order to effectively implement the Government’s direction on tasks and solutions to remove difficulties for production and business and promote the disbursement of public investment and ensure social order during the pandemic.

However, the banking sector had not been supported by partners to reduce fees, it said.

It said that the SMS charges which telecommunications businesses were applying to banks were 2-3 times higher than those for individuals.

Accordingly, MobiFone and VinaPhone were charging VNĐ820 (US$0.035) per SMS for financial transactions and VNĐ500 for ads and customer care messages.

Viettel’s fee was VNĐ785 per SMS for financial transactions and VNĐ500 for others.

Meanwhile, charges for SMS between individuals were around VNĐ250-300 each.

The association added that the current SMS charges were too high, adding it was necessary to lower them to encourage the use of cashless payments. 

The association said that SMS banking fees collected by banks were currently low and only collected once per month, ranging from VNĐ5,500 to VNĐ11,000 per month.

Many banks were adopting free policies to increase technology utilities for customers and accelerate the conversion to online transactions, it said.

Each money transfer or payment transaction needs to send at least two messages to customers.

Each customer has 15-20 transactions per month on average, equivalent to 25-30 messages per month, worth about VNĐ20,000-25,000 per month.

Cấn Văn Lực, chief economist of BIDV, estimated banks had to pay several hundred billion Vietnamese đồng of SMS fees each year for telecommunications operators.

Specifically, the value is estimated at about VNĐ400 billion at BIDV, VNĐ200 billion at VietinBank, VNĐ300 billion at Agribank and VNĐ400 billion at VCB. — VNS