Visa and the non-cash future

08:00 | 18/03/2019
Building a cashless economy is one of the government’s top targets. Dang Tuyet Dung, Visa country manager for Vietnam and Laos, talked with VIR’s Dinh Thuy the company’s tireless efforts to support the Vietnamese government’s target of reducing cash payments, particularly in the field of consumer credit, on the occasion of attending the seminar “Developing consumer credit as a solution to ward off shadow banking” hosted by VIR last week in Hanoi.
visa and the non cash future
Dang Tuyet Dung, Visa country manager for Vietnam and Laos

The State Bank of Vietnam’s (SBV) has set forth the target of reducing cash payments in the total payment mix on to below 10 per cent by the end of 2020, then to 8 per cent by 2025. What has Visa been doing to support Vietnam in realising the target?

With the network in more than 200 nations and territories, together with support from financial institutes like banks, financial companies, enterprises and fintech companies, our mission is to connect the world with secured, ­efficient and innovative payment ­solutions to all individuals, ­organisations and the economy.

In Vietnam, with 14 years of ­operation, Visa prioritises the work with the Vietnamese government as well as the SBV on building and ­improving Vietnam’s payment ­infrastructure as a strategic mission.

Visa often pioneers bringing in state-of-the art technologies on e-­payment and digital technology into the Vietnamese market, helping ­financial institutes and enterprises with innovative technology and infrastructure to create comfort to payers and consumers, as well as ensuring card payment security in Vietnam.

Data is the core value of developing digital economy trajectory, and Visa’s technology support helps to improve clients’ data analysis capacity, related to their customer base. This will help our clients to better grasp consumer behaviour and tendencies in using the services, from there introducing more suitable products and services to benefit consumers, as well as taking care of consumers over the course of using their services.

To initiate a foundation and good base for a digital economy, it is vital to have deep understanding about residential levels with payment, financial e-payment, helping them manage individual financial status as well as business activities. Visa’s engagement in financial knowledge propagation activities is also a strategy and this is our strong commitment in every market where we operate. Our company has been actively participating in financial literacy promotion activities to support organisations and government agencies. One eminent example is our co-operation with the Central Committee of the Vietnam Students’ Association in 2012-2018. The programme provided financial knowledge to students from 36 universities across Vietnam. One interesting project under the programme was the Finance Football, which took place last year. Based on the agility so important in football, the programme created highly-interactive games to students. It received more than 1,500 applications to participate from student groups from 36 universities and about 2,000 students directly took part in the games.

From 2015 to 2018, Visa has been co-operating with CARE, an international non-governmental organisation, to consecutively support 879 women in the northern highlands areas on ­financial management training to feed stakeholders’ production and business needs. About 75 per cent of female ­participants later informed us of ­improved family incomes despite the short time of engaging in the ­programme.

The Visa Everywhere Initiative is a programme launched to assist startup and fintech companies in developing, executing their ideas and business models. The programme has been participated in by hundreds of companies from Vietnam. Given the objective, Fintech Fast Track of Visa is now co-operating and helping Vietnamese fintech companies upgrade capacities in providing e-payment services and their own services by connecting with Visa’s payment infrastructure and ecosystem.

What are your proposals to ­authorised management agencies in accelerating the building of a non-cash society in Vietnam?

Promoting financial literacy needs to become a focus, with stronger support from the government for such activities to be implemented in a synchronous manner, with ripple effects on the whole community. This will help to augment financial knowledge and readiness to participate in the financial ecosystem and build a digital economy for local people. This is a crucial factor to economic development. Next is legal infrastructure. The legal corridor plays a foremost role in digital economy development. In building a digital economy, policies should balance the factors related to management, network security, and consumer privacy, and at the same time it needs to comply with international practices. This creates opportunities for the open economy and other companies to kick off their creativity, hence bringing up increased benefits for consumers, contributing to the development of the economy. Visa wishes to have a chance to contribute to building the law and regulations on promoting the digital economy in Vietnam to ­ensure the enactment of highly viable policies.

One of the challenges hindering the expansion of non-cash payment in Vietnam relates to concerns over ­privacy and system security. What is your assessment?

The digital economy features quick and huge flows of information, so that information security must be a top ­priority. This is also one of Visa’s top investment priorities. We have been ­investing in cutting-edge technologies at different levels.

Later this month, Visa will host a seminar to officially ­introduce the next three-year trajectory from 2019 to 2021 on new information security technologies that Visa will bring to Vietnam to support customers, ­businesses, credit institutions, and our business partners.

This will be carried out to best serve their development needs, particularly conferring the right for self-protection to consumers, ­helping them to control their payments more effectively and get the best ­experience.

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