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Going Cashless: Vietnamese Consumers Embrace Digital Payments

Around 77% of Vietnamese consumers believe they could go cashless for three days, a survey has revealed. There was a significant increase in the number of respondents who attempted to adopt a cashless approach in 2022. Specifically, 90% made an effort to go cashless at some point during the year, compared to 77% in the previous year.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a transformative impact on consumer behaviour globally, including in Vietnam. There was a notable rise in the usage of card or mobile wallet payments among Vietnamese consumers across all categories when compared to the data from 2021.

It was found that in 2022, 66% of consumers in Vietnam utilised online card payments, while 70% made use of online or in-app mobile wallet payments. This marks a significant surge from the previous year’s figure of 32%. QR payments also experienced substantial growth in usage last year, with 61% of consumers using this method, as compared to 35% in 2021. Virtual banking has also garnered significant interest among Vietnamese consumers, with a striking 90% expressing their inclination toward digital banking services.

There is clear evidence of a gradual shift away from cash, evidenced by the fact that consumers both carried less cash in 2022 and used it for fewer payments. The study identified the two primary reasons for the decline in cash payments. Firstly, consumers expressed concerns about the potential risk of losing or having cash stolen, leading them to opt for alternative payment methods. Secondly, the increased availability and acceptance of cashless payment options by businesses.

The post-COVID era has shed light on evolving consumer behaviour, particularly in the retail sector and overall financial management. New trends have emerged, indicating shifts in consumer spending patterns and approaches to personal finances.

Consumer behaviour in Vietnam during the pandemic has showcased a widespread acceptance of home delivery services, particularly with the convenience of tech-enabled online payment methods prior to receiving the delivery. Approximately 85% of consumers tried home delivery for the first time. Looking ahead, consumers expect a significant portion of their purchases, around 8 out of 10, to be made online and delivered to their homes. As a result, businesses would benefit from offering online payment options and efficient home delivery services to meet these evolving consumer needs.

In the wake of the pandemic, new shopping habits have surfaced among Vietnamese consumers. The study indicates that 64% of consumers have increased their purchases of medicine and vitamins to prioritise their health. Additionally, the same percentage of consumers are engaging in shopping activities through large online marketplaces and supporting home-based businesses. These spending patterns align with the global post-COVID trends, where e-commerce has experienced rapid growth, and a majority of consumers are exploring and adopting new shopping behaviours.

Last month, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) urged banks, foreign bank branches, and intermediaries in payment services to actively support the advancement of cashless transactions and the implementation of the national digital transformation programme.

The move aims to aid the plan on developing the application of resident data and electronic identification and authentication to support the national digital transformation agenda during the period of 2022-2025, with a vision extending to 2030.

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