Visa to intensify promotion for card payment in Vietnam
By Mong Binh – The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Visa Inc. has disclosed a long-term major program to promote payment by Visa cards in Vietnam as part of its first global advertising campaign to migrate consumer and business spending from cash and cheques to the electronic payment.
Ha said advertisement on print publications and in key outdoor locations in HCMC and Hanoi, the two biggest cities in Vietnam, would follow to further promote the campaign in this emerging market.
Ha added there would be promotions for new Visa cardholders, especially the youth in Vietnam and those traveling to this country. But she declined to provide further detail.
Ha said Visa Inc. expected that the campaign would encourage more people to pay by Visa cards because of more security and more convenience in Vietnam, where the bank account penetration was very low.
She said Visa was unable to disclose the exact number of Visa cardholders in Vietnam because of “business secret”. However, she told the Daily after the news briefing that Visa’s business had fared well in this market over the past years.
The Daily’s news database shows the number of Visa cardholders in Vietnam was growing from double to triple-digit rate, and Visa had attracted over 200,000 debit and credit cardholders in this country as of January 2007.
Over the past two years, more banks in Vietnam have issued and acquired Visa cards, and the current number is 24 banks and finance institutions. They include ANZ, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), Citibank, Eximbank, HSBC, Prudential Finance, Sacombank, Standard Chartered, Vietcombank and VietinBank.
Despite the small number of around 10 million domestic and international payment cards of all brands in Vietnam as indicated by the State Bank of Vietnam as of March 2008, Ha said this market held huge potential for the world’s largest retail electronic payments network provider given the fast growth in e-payment.
In December last year, the Information Technology Department of the central bank reported that total e-payment transactions in 2005 stood at only 3.5 million but climbed to 4.5 million in 2006 and 6.3 million in 2007.
Ha stressed the target customers of Visa cards were not only business people and frequent travelers but also those who prefer payment by card.