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Over one million Visa cards issued in Vietnam

HCMC – Over one million Visa cards have been issued in Vietnam by bank partners of Visa less than five years after the world’s retail electronic payment network opened an office in this market, its executives said on Thursday.

The number of just over one million Visa cards was announced by Peter Maher, Visa general manager for Southeast Asia, and Truong Minh Ha, Visa country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos at a meeting in HCMC on Thursday with representatives of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), banks and merchants.

Ha told reporters before the meeting the number of Visa cards issued in Vietnam had experienced a 900% increase over the five years, from the small base of 100,000 in 2005 to more than one million today. “Issuing one million Visa cards is an amazing milestone to achieve in such a short period of time,” she said.

Ha said Visa was committed together with its bank partners to grow electronic payments in Vietnam and would continue to promote the benefits of payment cards to consumers and merchants as a safer, more efficient and better means to pay and be paid.

Maher credited the whopping growth to the Government’s push for reform and opening the market, especially to foreign banks while Ha said this was the result of Visa’s endeavor to build close relationships with partners in this market.

There are 13 banks issuing Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Visa Prepaid cards as well as Visa Prepaid Gift cards in Vietnam. Vietnamese cardholders and merchants have been given more benefits with the launch of co-branded Visa products for travel and retail, such as Techcombank Vietnam Airlines, Sacombank Parkson card, Eximbank Maximark card and collaboration with merchants.

More than 20,000 merchants have accepted payment by Visa cards in Vietnam, which the Visa general manager for Southeast Asia described as “upcoming market.”

“Reaching the one million card milestone in Vietnam reflects the growing popularity among Vietnamese who choose Visa as a better way to pay,” Maher said. “As more and more Vietnamese shop or travel abroad for business and pleasure, the benefit of Visa payment products that offer security and convenience are apparent, replacing the need to carry cash.”

Hoang Quoc Dinh, vice chief of the representative office of the central bank in HCMC, told the meeting that Visa was an important partner of the central bank and financial institutions in Vietnam in modernizing electronic payment facilities.

Ha said Visa would continue to organize and sponsor workshops for partners and merchants to help raise awareness of the benefits of using Visa cards for payment in addition to more marketing activities and products for this market.

“We plan to introduce more means for consumers to pay with increased confidence and enjoy more personal and relevant products from financial institutions, merchants and their partners,” Ha said.

By Mong Binh - The Saigon Times Daily

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