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E-wallets scramble for market share

19:35 | 16/01/2020

VCN - The strong development of e-commerce in Vietnam has become a catalyst for the proliferation of e-wallet products. Successive large businesses have announced the launch of e-wallets, along with the increasing presence of foreign e-wallets in Vietnam. Meanwhile, existing e-wallets have also enhanced ecosystem development in order to retain and attract more users in the context of increasingly fierce competition.

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Customers pay for gas usingMoMo e-wallet at PVOil gas station. Source: Internet

Increased competition

In recent days, the news of Alibaba – one of China's leading e-commerce platforms, is pouring capital to buy a large number of eMonkey shares –the electronic wallet of JSC Trade and Services M-Pay technology. Previously, Moca e-wallet also sold shares to Grab, while Airpay sold 30% of shares to Sea Limited (the company with the largest shareholder is Tencent Group – rival of Alibaba), and True Money (Thailand) held holding 90% of 1Pay's capital, Payoo sold 64% of capital to NTT Data Group (Japan).

In the country, many banks and businesses have also announced the jump into the e-wallet field, with a series of new faces such as Be Group in cooperation with VPBank to launch beFinancial, Go-Viet has also launched Go-Paye-wallet. Recently, the State Bank also announced information about licensing payment intermediary service provision to VinID Pay Joint Stock Company (belonging to Vingroup) with the licensed service of electronic wallet VinID.

The increasing number of new competitors entering the market is considered by experts to create a big change in the e-wallet market, which is mainly in the hands of five big players, MoMo, Zalopay, and Airpay, SenPay and Moca, with 80-90% market share.

Therefore, these big companies would not sit still and watch the market share shrink. The most positive is MoMo, with a series of signing activities in recent years to increase the utility of its ecosystem. Specifically, MoMo has signed a contract with Saigon Co.op to promote digitization at Co.op Mart supermarket, Co.opXtra, Co.op Food, and signed a contract with PVOil to implement electronic payment methods at PVOil's petrol stations. In particular, MoMo also promotes payment services in the field of public administrative services. MoMo has now been selected as the electronic payment channel of the National Public Service Portal and is a partner providing electronic payment solutions to collect fees, charges and financial obligations for public administrative services in Da Nang and KhanhHoa.

ZaloPay has also recently signed a dealwith Agribank, helping 12 million Agribank customers withdraw, recharge wallets and usepayment transfer services right on their phones. ZaloPay has also become the official payment partner of Bamboo Airways, helping increase convenience for customers of Bamboo Airway and ZaloPay.

The race is long and exhausting

According to statistics, as of mid-November 2019, the number of organizations licensed by the State Bank to provide intermediary payment services was 32. There are six licensed organizations in 2019: Smartnet, Edenred, Paytech, Epay, FinViet, and MeCorp.

Assessing Vietnam’s e-wallet market, Nishikawa Shinichiro, member of the Board of Directors of Viet Union – the management of Payoo e-wallet – said that the Vietnamese e-wallet market is still very young and will take a long time for e-wallets to secure market share and stand firm in the future.

Marek Forysiak, Chairman of Smartnet's Member Council – the company that manages Smartpay – says that the market forelectronic wallets is not large. The market share is only about 8% – not significant compared to the overview of Vietnam's electronic payment market. To grow stronger, according to Forysiak, e-wallets will have to focus on creating true value for customers. Accordingly, customer experience will be the deciding factor for wallet success.

In fact, e-wallets cannot grow after only a short time, in order to get development today, e-wallets have along way to conquer users. MoMo was born 12 years ago, but the name MoMo wallet has only become more popular in the last three. Or as AliPay's electronic wallet Alibaba also started 20 years ago. Experts said that in order to develop, e-wallets must rely on the reality in Vietnam and cannot apply foreign theory. Models that have been successful in India or Indonesia are not necessarily going to develop well in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, talking about competition with traditional payment methods and with other electronic wallets is increasing in the market, Nguyen Ba Diep, Vice Chairman of MoMo, saidMoMo has applied new technology to help bring customers a better experience. Diep confirmed that payment via MoMo is even faster than cash, because customers take up to 30 seconds for a cash withdrawal, while payment via MoMo takes only two. In addition, another advantage is that the more customers spend, the more money they will receive.

Diep is also very confident in competing with e-wallets from abroad, because MoMo is a Vietnamese e-wallet, focusing on services for Vietnamese and addressing Vietnamese needs. According to Diep, other e-wallets are from global companies or regional companies, so it will not be possible to personalize the needs of Vietnamese people. Especially, at MoMo, there are products and services that only serve the needs of Vietnamese people such as payment of public administrative service fees, hospital fees and tuition fees, that foreign e-wallets do not have.

By Nguyen Hien/ HuuTuc