ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Bank accounts up in Ho Chi Minh City
The survey, which was released by the State Bank of Viet Nam's HCM City branch at the Banking Viet Nam 2010 conference on Thursday, said that improved banking services also contributed to helping customers save around 3 percent on general expenses.
However, assigned payment was the most popular service, at 79 percent, while payment through credit cards was only around 19 percent, a small improvement.
About 80 percent of customers use ATMs to withdraw cash. Widening usage of Point of Sale (POS) machines is considered one of the most important ways to save government expenditures, such as the printing of money, while increasing customer convenience.
"Around 86 percent of banks are now paying attention to the development of the POS system," said Nguyen Van Dung, deputy director of SBV's HCM City branch.
However, successful POS connections will be a challenge, with 77 percent of respondents concerned about infrastructure technology; 77 percent about service owners' acceptance; 71 per cent about connection fees among banks; and 64 per cent about software and advertisements. The survey also described three barriers to the development of banking services.
"Banking technologies and services have developed and modernised, but it's new for most customers, and many companies don't want to reveal their turnover," Dung said. Outdated laws for non-cash payments and a lack of tax deduction and exemption policies have also limited the growth of the services.
Enforcement of the laws on bank card use had been weak as well, he said, adding that agencies should require newly established companies to use non-cash payment services. Currently, that was only a suggestion to companies, Dung added.
"Having more non-cash payments via banks is a must to help the economy save expense, increase convenience and boost the banking system," he said.
Currently, there are 28.6 million ATM cards, 46,000 POS machines and 11,000 ATMs in Vietnam. The growth in card issuance during 2006-10 was 150-200 per cent a year, but the transactions via the POS system were still low, at around 5 per cent.
In the latest news, the POS system between banks in HCM City began on Thursday. Hanoi established a similar link in September
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