|A screenshot of the Vietcombank mobile app. VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp|
HCM CITY — Banks and telecom service providers have agreed to charge a fixed monthly SMS banking service fee of VNĐ11,000 following an uproar among customers after the fee was hiked by up to seven times.
Trần Duy Hải, deputy director of the Department of Telecommunications, said: “The fee of VNĐ11,000 per month is fixed regardless of the number of messages.”
The fixed fee would encourage the use of cashless payments, he said.
Many customers had complained after the fee was hiked in January to VNĐ27,500-77,000 from the fixed VNĐ11,000, saying they would stop using the service.
Banks have meanwhile been suggesting that customers should use digital services instead of SMS banking services, with some even waiving money transfer and monthly maintenance fees for the former.
MobiFone and VinaPhone charged VNĐ820 (US$0.035) per SMS for financial transactions and VNĐ500 for ads and customer care messages.
Viettel’s rates were VNĐ785 and VNĐ500.
For individual subscribers SMSs only cost VNĐ99-350.
MobiFone, VinaPhone and Viettel claimed they charged higher SMS fees for financial transactions because they invested large sums of money in technology to ensure the security of the information.
Each money transfer or payment transaction needs at least two messages to be sent to customers, and customers have on average 15-20 transactions per month, equivalent to 25-30 messages. — VNS