Based on the data of the Vietnam Banks Association (VBA), at present there are about 77 million bank cards in the country. Of which, 65 million are domestic debit cards; 4.6 million are Visa debit or MasterCard Debit cards; 2.7 million are Visa Credit or MasterCard Credit cards.
Compared with the number of bank cards in circulation, new bank cards in 2017 account for 20 per cent (15 million bank cards) of all kinds.
Despite a large number of new cards, domestic bank cards are showing a decreasing rate of growth from 22 per cent in 2016 to 12 per cent in 2017.
On the other hand, international cards are continuing to grow strongly, reaching 30 per cent in 2017, which shows a growing demand for travel and online shopping.
Besides, banks offer lots of features and benefits for international cardholders, making consumers choose to use international card more often both in and outside the country.
Still, it is undeniable that cash is still the daily payment of choice for most Vietnamese.
For a long time, cash has always been a convenient method of payment for Vietnamese as many people feels at risk when paying by card, particularly they worry about the risk of losing personal information, especially with online payment.
According to the data from World Bank in 2017, while 40 per cent of Vietnamese have bank accounts, 90 per cent of daily expenses are still being paid by cash.
"Even with online shopping, most of Vietnamese still choose the option of paying face to face i.e paying once goods are delivered. Cash still accounts for the major part of payment method," said Chairman of VBA cum Deputy General Director, Vietcombank.
As a result, non-cash payments in Vietnam are much lower than other countries in the region. For instance, the non-cash payment ratio in Malaysia is 89 per cent, in Thailand is 60 per cent, in China is over 26 per cent and as for Vietnam, the ratio is even lower than 5 per cent, based on the data of the World Bank.
In order to deal with this issue, Tuan urged banks to promote technology solutions in order to increase benefits for card users and at the same time enhance payment securities, encouraging bank users to pay more by card.
Additionally, banks should simplify their policies in terms of procedures. If banks want people to increase their card payment, then banks should focus on enhancing their quality service instead of giving discount or making price adjustment.
Tuan also proposed that the State quickly complete and strengthen the connection between processing solutions for data exchange between agencies in the finance sector such as Vietnam State Treasury, General Department of Taxation and Vietnam Customs and the banking system to better meet the requirements for coordinating state budget revenues electronically.
At the same time, he also suggested that Vietnam should soon implement public transport payment by card.