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Three mobile network providers seek permission to launch mobile money services

Three mobile network operators - Viettel, VNPT and MobiFone - have applied for the implementation of their own Mobile Money pilot projects.

These projects will allow the use of mobile phone credit to pay for small-value goods and services.

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) had worked together to assess the projects, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Nguyen Kim Anh told Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper.

The application dossiers for licences have been sent back to the firms for improvement, in accordance with the Prime Minister’s Decision regarding the pilot run of the services, he added.

The Decision states that firms operating the services must apply artificial intelligence (AI) and big data at points of sale to verify users, as well as devise mechanisms to keep watch on the cash transactions and ensure the accurate amounts.

According to the SBV, upon the completion of procedures, the providers will be allowed to pilot the services for two years.

Approval of the project aims to bolster cashless payments via mobile devices as well as access to and use of financial services, particularly in rural and remote areas, to capitalise on the country’s telecommunications infrastructure and network.

The credit limit will be no more than 10 million VND (435 USD) per month for all transactions on each account.

Vietnam has around 129.5 million mobile subscriptions, around half of which use 3G and 4G, and 43.7 million, or 45 percent of the population, using smartphones.

According to the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), Mobile Money currently covers 290 different types of transactions in 95 countries worldwide with 1.04 billion registered accounts. Mobile Money transfer agents worldwide are seven times more common than ATMs and 20 times more than bank branches./.