Vietnamese Consumers Prefer Digital Banking, Modern Payment Methods

A recent study conducted by the United Overseas Bank (OUB) suggests that Vietnamese consumers are increasingly turning to digital banking and modern payment methods, with convenience and speed as among the major factors cited for the preference.

The report, “ASEAN Consumer Sentiment Study”, indicates a significant shift in the financial habits in Vietnam and underscores a burgeoning inclination toward mobile banking apps, e-wallets, QR code-based payments, e-commerce payment gateways, and digitally integrated debit and credit cards.

Paul Kim, Head of Personal Financial Services at UOB, acknowledges the enhanced digital proficiency among consumers in Vietnam, noting a considerable uptick in mobile app usage for financial activities.

Despite this digital lean, Kim observes that for complex or high-value transactions, including bank loan restructuring and insurance purchases, Vietnamese consumers still prefer the reliability of offline channels.

The study reveals a notable statistic: four in every five consumers utilize an e-wallet at least once a week, with many recommending the technology to peers. Momo leads as the e-wallet of choice, trailed by ZaloPay and VNPay in popularity.

Kim also reflects on the positive economic outlook among Vietnamese consumers, buoyed by robust economic growth, which appears to instill confidence in the present and future economic scenarios.

This sentiment outshines the general concern across ASEAN countries, where rising inflation and mounting expenses raise the specter of economic downturn. Nevertheless, there’s a collective embrace of the digital era among the ASEAN populace.

Optimism about financial prospects remains higher in Vietnam compared to its ASEAN counterparts, with 76% of Vietnamese respondents anticipating improved financial circumstances in the following year.

Financial worries, however, do persist, with 80% of consumers expressing concerns over their ability to save, afford essentials, maintain their lifestyle, and support their parents’ financial and health needs, leading to a more guarded approach to investment.

II Dong Kwon of Boston Consulting Group points to the internet’s proliferation as a catalyst for Vietnam’s 41% annual growth in online shopping and e-commerce over the past three years. This boom has propelled a surge in online payments, a trend Kwon predicts will not only persist but intensify in the future.

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