Over the past ten years, Vietnam has undergone an increasing evolution in information, communications, and technology (ICT) with a telecommunications network covering almost the entire country, and nearly 100% of adults having cell phones. The number of mobile subscribers nationwide is increasing rapidly to comprise nearly 140 million by end of 2015, ranking Vietnam as five top mobile subscriber countries over the global. Despite this widespread telecommunications coverage, the use of mobile technology to facilitate electronic transactions (e.g. “mobile money”) is still a relatively new concept in Vietnam, where cash transactions remain the predominant method for payments and banking. The Government of Vietnam has begun pushing the use of ICT to replace cash transactionsand has accordingly issued a number of basic regulations on e-transactions. In recent years, some commercial banks have started introducing mobile money services, albeit to a limited client base of a small portion of the country’s urban population. Over two-thirds of Vietnam’s 90 million population, particularly the rural poor, have little access to banking services. This presents a great challenge but also a great potential market for retail banks in Vietnam.
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