Viet Nam Banks Association urges MIC to reduce telecommunication charges

Saturday, Jul 25, 2020 07:46

The Viet Nam Banks Association said that charges for banking services via SMS were too high. — Photo

The Viet Nam Banks Association has just sent a dispatch to propose the Ministry of Information and Communications lower charges for banking services via SMS.

This is the third time within three months the association has sent the proposal to the ministry.

The association said that the banking sector had reduced customer support fees in order to effectively implement the Prime Minister's Resolution 84/NQ-CP dated May 29 this year on tasks and solutions to remove difficulties for production and business and promote the disbursement of public investment and ensure social order in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the banking sector had not been supported by partners to reduce fees, it said.

It said that the SMS charges which telecommunications businesses were applying to banks were much higher than those for individuals.

For example, MobiFone and VinaPhone were charging VND820 (US$0.035) per SMS for financial transactions and VND500 for ads and customer care messages.

Viettel’s fee was VND785 per SMS for financial transactions and VND500 for others.

Meanwhile, charges for SMS between individuals were around VND250-300 each.

The association added that the current SMS charges were too high, adding it was necessary to lower them to encourage the use of cashless payments.

The association said that SMS banking fees collected by banks were currently low and only collected once per month ranging from VND5,500 to VND11,000 per month.

Many banks were adopting free policies to increase technology utilities for customers and accelerate the conversion to online transactions, it said.

Each money transfer or payment transaction needs to send at least two messages to customers.

Each customer has 15-20 transactions per month on average, equivalent to 25-30 messages per month, worth about VND20,000-25,000 per month.

The association calculated that a small-scale bank generating about 9-11 million messages per month has to pay telecommunications businesses from VND7.5 to 9 billion.

The Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV), one of the four largest banks in the market, reported that its SMS output had been increasing over the years.

There were 365.58 million messages in 2017; 473.62 million in 2018; 635.48 million in 2019 and 320.38 million in the first five months of this year.

The total output of the three years and the first five months of this year is approximately 1.9 billion messages, costing nearly VND1.2 trillion.

If operators applied the normal text message fees of about VND300 each, the cost would be reduced by about 50 per cent, said the bank. — VNS

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