Further fee reductions to promote cashless payments amid pandemic

Monday, Mar 16, 2020 15:28

A payment transaction conducted via QR code. Viet Nam is promoting cashless payments as a measure to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. — Photo vietnamnet.vn

The fees for fast interbank fund transfers would be cut for the second time this year to promote cashless payments in the context of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The State Bank of Viet Nam late last week asked the National Payment Corporation of Viet Nam (NAPAS) to reduce interbank fund transfer fees by half for transactions of sums worth from VND500,001 (US$21) to VND2 million each.

Accordingly, NAPAS would cut its service fees for electronic switching for local banks from currently VND1,800 to VND900 per transaction, starting from March 25 to the end of this year, which would enable local banks to cut the fees for interbank fund transfer for customers.

Commercial banks and branches of foreign banks was asked to reduce the fees for interbank fund transfers by at least VND900 per transaction and were encouraged to offer bigger reductions.

The central bank also allowed the National Credit Information Centre of Viet Nam (CIC) to reduce the fees on local banks for using credit information, from March 1 to the end of this year.

In mid-February, NAPAS cut the fee for electronic switching from VND1,800 to VND500 per transaction for sums worth VND500,000 or less.

To date, 32 out of 45 member banks of NAPAS cut fees for customers by 90 per cent and even some offered zero charges for fast interbank fund transfers, following the NAPAS’s move in February.

Promoting cashless payment was highlighted as one of important measures to remove difficulties for business and production amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A survey by IDG Vietnam, a member of the International Data Group, in 2019 revealed that cash payments still account for 79 per cent in Viet Nam.

Under the cashless payment development project for 2016-20, Viet Nam targeted that cash would account for 10 per cent of the total money in circulation by the end of 2020.

Recently, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also asked the central bank to submit a pilot project about mobile money. — VNS

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