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Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has given the green light for the Mobile Money pilot project, thereby allowing mobile phone subscribers to use their telecommunications accounts to make money transfers and payments up to a limited value for products and services strictly in Vietnam.

This pilot project came into effect on 9 March 2021 and will be conducted over two years. It will be implemented nationwide, particularly in rural areas to improve access to financial services and encourage cashless payment via mobile devices.

Businesses require licenses to provide intermediary mobile money services, as well as licenses for public mobile terrestrial telecommunications networks to tap on telecommunications network and data. Customers are required to register their mobile accounts with an identity card, citizen identification or passport and use mobile services for at least three consecutive months.

This pilot project was first submitted to the Prime Minister for approval in May 2020, prompting Vietnam’s major telecommunications services providers like Viettel, VNPT and MobiFone to add payment as a line of business.

Vietnam has a population of 129.5 million mobile subscribers, of which 43.7 million owns smartphones. This pilot will serve as a basis for the relevant authorities to develop legal regulations around the service in the country.

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