Legal News
PM approves pilot application of 'mobile money'

11 - 03 - 2021
VNS

Viettel has been prepared infrastructure to provide Mobile Money service. — Photo courtesy of the firm

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the pilot application of 'mobile money', which allows the use of mobile phone credit to pay for small-value goods and services.

The decision, which took effect from Tuesday, will allow some businesses to join the pilot programme for two years.

The pilot application for mobile money services aims to contribute to the development of non-cash payments, improving the access and use of financial services, especially in rural, remote, border and island areas.

It will also take advantage of infrastructure, data and telecommunication networks to reduce spending to develop non-cash payment channels on mobile phones, bringing benefits to users.

In addition, the results of the pilot implementation of the mobile money service will be a practical basis for authorities to review, develop and issue official legal regulations for the service in Viet Nam.

According to the decision, businesses need to have licenses to provide intermediary e-wallet payment services, licenses to establish a public mobile terrestrial telecommunications network using radio frequencies or have subsidiaries with permission from the parent company to use telecommunications, network, and data infrastructure.

The firms participating in the pilot programme can provide services to customers who register their mobile accounts with an identity card, citizen identification or passport. Customers must use mobile services for at least three consecutive months before registering for mobile money.

The mobile money service will be applied nationwide. However, the businesses must prioritise implementing services in rural, remote, border and island areas. Mobile money will only be applicable for domestic transactions and will not be available for cross-border services.

According to the decision, customers can top-up or withdraw from their mobile money accounts at physical kiosks, similarly to bank accounts and e-wallets. They can also pay for goods and services at stores accepting mobile money.

In addition, customers using mobile money services could also transfer money.

The decision also stipulates a maximum transaction limit of VND10 million (US$432.94) per month for each mobile money account for all transactions including withdrawals, transfers and payments.

Businesses involved in the pilot are prohibited for banking activities such as lending, raising capital or providing or using mobile money accounts for transactions for the purpose of money laundering, terrorism financing, or fraudulent practices.

Experts said the launch of mobile money would promote non-cash payment while bringing convenience to people, especially those in rural areas. As local people are gradually adapting to online transactions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the deployment of mobile money will be an appropriate action to promote cashless payments.

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