Viet Nam is a potential market for internet banking services, as only 22 per cent of its population possesses bank accounts.
The Viet Nam Business Forum magazine quoted a source from the State Bank of Viet Nam as saying that more than 20 banks in Viet Nam are offering services like paying of electricity and phone bills and taxes on behalf of enterprises and individuals to save time and costs.
The number of internet-banking users by the end of 2013 increased 45 per cent as compared to three years ago, according to Viet Nam Banks Association (VNBA). About 90 per cent of banks are offering internet banking services and half of them are providing mobile banking.
The number of enterprises paying through the Internet has increased sharply in the last few years. HCM City branch of Viet Nam Electricity, for example, in cooperation with 24 banks, has developed the service of collecting electricity bills, thus raising the rate of payment through banks in 2013 to 44.9 per cent of total revenues, up 12.8 times over the pilot year of 2007.
EVN plans to offer discounts on electricity bills to any person paying bills electronically five days before it is due to encourage individuals and enterprises to use the service.
At the beginning of 2014, General Department of Taxation informed that there were 366,000 enterprises declaring taxes via the Internet. They have cooperated with banks to pay taxes electronically to 15,000 enterprises by the end of this year.
Besides electricity and tax payments, many enterprises in other fields accept transactions through internet banking. Remarkably, there are projects where the collection and managing of tuition fees is done through "SSC school card" and the e-banking service of HCM City Education and Training Department.
Seeing great potential in the market, many large banks like Vietcombank, Techcombank, VPBank, ACB and Tienphongbank have diversified their services. VPBank has concentrated on developing internet banking since 2009 and chosen it as their major business.
The bank has completed a range of functions for "VPBank online" service and coordinated with enterprises in fields of electricity, water and insurance along with aviation and consumption.
At the same time, it has also developed high class facilities like giving deposits online to enjoy attractive interest rates and collecting iCash to obtain gifts.
VPBank has also participated in a system of the first nine banks to provide inter-bank super-express money transfer of Smartlink that helps customers transfer money immediately with high limit and at low costs.
For enterprises alone, VPBank has signed up with customs, taxation and treasury bodies to implement services for collecting money for the State budget, and guaranteeing taxes for import-export goods electronically.