Which way for e-wallets – ecosystems or payment instruments?

12:47 | 20/07/2017

E-wallets have been changing, struggling to exist among stiff competition. No e-wallet dominates the market, with many of them designed to serve specific ecosystems targeted by investors.

WebMoney has made a comeback with a donation program. Through the program, it has introduced a new feature – transferring money from the community. Another feature seeks capital from the community for startup projects.

This is not the first time WebMoney has appeared in Vietnam. The software sourced from Russia was brought to Vietnam in 2010 by Yeah1, but it was not promoted well. 

According to Nguyen Anh Nhuong Tong, CEO of WebMoney Vietnam, this was because the legal framework was still not complete at that moment.

The market has become busy and recently was roused by the news that Standard Chartered Private Equity and Goldman Sachs poured $28 million into MoMo in 2016 and VMG sold a 62 percent stake in VNPT Epay to UTC Investment from SK.

E-wallets have been changing, struggling to exist among stiff competition. No e-wallet dominates the market, with many of them designed to serve specific ecosystems targeted by investors.

According to the State Bank, 16 non-bank organizations have received licenses to provide intermediary payment services, including e-wallets. Most e-wallets are still facing big difficulties, but they can see bright prospects in the future. Besides the 16 operational e-wallets, tens of other businesses are still awaiting licenses.

Some wallets develop payment instruments based on existing ecosystem, while others do the opposite, gathering many sellers and then advertising for products, or doing both.

MoMo was designed to transfer small amounts of money among users and make payment for services at entertainment points. 

Payoo focuses on providing services on making payments for household bills through physical transaction points. Most recently, Payoo has joined forces with NCB Bank to provide a service of making payments for bank loans through the wallet’s transaction network.

Though having different targets and products, both wallets have to persuade the POS  to accept the new payment method and ask customers to use their payment instrument.

WebMoney, however, has developed based on the existing ecosystem. The wallet uses the existing WebMoney model to take full advantage of the brand in the world market. According to WebMoney, it has 74,013 transaction points, 41,710 POS and 35 million users worldwide.

According to Nguyen Hoa Binh, president of NextTech Group (Peacesoft in the past), only a few payment intermediaries now perform well. 

“The majority of other service providers have had difficulties and are living with investors’ money,” he said.

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