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Two-year trial of mobile money gets underway in cash-crazy Vietnam

An employee counts Vietnamese banknotes at a bank in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

HANOI, Mar 10, 2021, VN Express. Vietnamese authorities have begun a two-year trial of mobile money as they seek to reduce the use of cash, VN Express reported.

Electronic wallets allowing the purchase of goods and money transfer using both smartphones and features phones will be trialed with authorities expecting this to also increase access to financial services, especially in rural areas.

A person can only register for one account, and the transaction limit is VND10 million ($433) per month.

Users can deposit cash in their accounts at telecom offices or through bank accounts and e-wallets.

Pham Tien Dung, head of the State Bank of Vietnam’s payment services department, said the biggest roadblock to cashless transactions is the long-established cash habit among Vietnamese.

Mobile money would help educate them on cashless transactions and make them potential customers for banks, he added.

Around 69 percent of the Vietnamese population was unbanked in 2018, according to the World Bank.

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