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CARDS & PAYMENTS | Cesar Tordesillas, Vietnam
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Vietnam's biggest card unions to merge

Better card services in Vietnam.

This is expected following the merger between Vietnam's two biggest card unions, Smartlink and Banknetvn.

A memorandum of understanding will be signed on Wednesday for the merger.

The agreement marks the first step of merging three card unions on the market into a single brand of Banknetvn.

Besides Smartlink, Vina Smart Card Joint Stock Company is expected to merge into Banknetvn in the first half of next year.

After the merger is complete, Banknetvn will become the only card switching company on the market with the central bank holding a 25% stake.

The three card unions have reached agreement on adjustments, technical connection and card payment infrastructure. Large banks belonging to the three unions that account for 90% of the card market have technically connected, allowing card users to transact at almost all automated teller machines countrywide.

Besides, cardholders are also able to pay at any points of sale, not only POS of one issuer like before.

The merger is part of a project establishing a national card switching center approved by the Government.

The representative also said the Banknetvn after the merger will develop following the model of China UnionPay, building an automated clearing house.

Banknetvn general director Ngo Ngoc Dong said that the company is expanding connection with foreign switching organizations such as UnionPay of China, UC of Russia and those belonging to the Asian Payment Network such as South Korea’s KFTC, Thailand’s ITMX and Malaysia’s MEPS.

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