The state of play in the Vietnamese e-wallet arena

08:00 | 20/04/2020
The competition in the e-wallet market is heating up with Moca, MoMo, and ZaloPay among the big players scaling up to win over new customers.
1488 p13 the state of play in the vietnamese e wallet arena
E-wallet groups are battling it out to capture larger market shares and, importantly, customer loyalty

As of last November, Vietnam boasted 32 payment intermediary service providers licensed by the State Bank of Vietnam. Among them, there are more than 20 active e-wallets but only a few of them are heavyweight names such as MoMo, Moca, ZaloPay, ViettelPay, and VnPay.

According to the latest research by Cimigo, MoMo, Moca, and ZaloPay are the top three most popular e-wallets in the two main cities in Vietnam, which account for more than 90 per cent of total market share of e-wallet users.

The research shows that there are six key factors driving choice of an e-wallet brand including user-friendly interface; varied and regular promotions; safety and security; links to various banks; use as payment method in many places; and diversity in payment services.

E-wallet operators are now in the stages of launching myriad promotions and forming tie-ups with banks, chains of stores, and tech giants. Although these strategies can help e-wallet players to attract new users, the main issue for them is to win customer loyalty.

The Cimigo research results show that Moca users have the highest usage frequency. On average, Moca users make an approximate 2.2 transactions per day, higher than that of MoMo users at two transactions per day and ZaloPay users at 1.6 daily.

In terms of brand loyalty, Moca is also the leading brand with 95 per cent of its users saying they will continue to use Moca even without promotions. The figure with MoMo is 89 per cent while that of ZaloPay is 84 per cent.

The figures reflect that Moca is a beloved brand of consumers with the highest usage frequency and brand stickiness.

Le Xuan Phuong, associate director of Cimigo, said that when users choose a brand and say that they will continue to use it even without promotions, it is a very good signal for that e-wallet. This indicates that the brand has met at least some long-term demands of users.

MoMo is one of the oldest players to heat up the e-wallet race in Vietnam. The group awakened the attention of smartphone owners to a new payment solution by offering them a variety of promotions. As a result, MoMo has garnered a large number of users. Cimigo’s survey shows that MoMo is mostly used for mobile top-ups, money transfers, and utility bill payments. Many experts deem MoMo as an experienced player with a deep understanding of the market.

ZaloPay, which is built on top Vietnam’s most popular messenger app Zalo, boasts plenty of advantages since its inception. Zalo is a familiar and friendly brand in the market with a huge pool of users. Hence, ZaloPay can take advantage of Zalo’s large database and famous brand to acquire new users.

Moca, meanwhile, has quickly become a big player in the e-wallet battle after only a single year into a strategic partnership with Grab, while it has taken a lot of time and effort for other e-wallets to secure presence in the same market. In fact, by taking advantage of the two basic services on Grab platform – ride-hailing and food delivery – Moca can enjoy a huge competitive edge over other rivals in terms of the necessity of the services and the frequency of payments.

Importantly, the Grab service ecosystem is constantly growing and their number of users also ranks among the top tech apps in the market. This has laid a huge potential of Moca to grow further in the future.

Each e-wallet giant clearly has its own strength and strategy to step up the game. However, there are still many questions about the future of the major e-wallets in the race for dominance, in terms of MoMo proving its worth as an experienced player, Moca making further use of Grab’s ecosystem, and the next steps for ZaloPay in order to take advantage of the famous Zalo brand.

Answers will be slow to emerge and further questions will arise. However, users are increasingly smart and sophisticated and in this context, brand loyalty, scalability of services, and unique utilities are the key factors that will help e-wallet players to win customers over.

By Thanh Van

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