CARDS & PAYMENTS | Cesar Tordesillas, Vietnam

Half of Vietnam's ATM cards remain unused, says VBCA

As many as 50% of issued ATMs in Vietnam are unused, according to statistics from the Vietnam Bank Card Association.


The number of inactive cards at some banks with high card issuance reached about 30% of issued cards, it noted.

This is attributed to two reasons.

Firstly, many banks consider card issuance as a channel to promote its brand, not focusing on effectiveness of card uses or service quality.

Secondly, it’s also a channel to raise funds as they often require card holders to keep a certain minimum balance of between VND 50,000 to VND100,000 in their account.

As of June 2011, Vietnam banks have issued nearly 34 million payment cards such as ATM cards, credit cards, etc., in which there are nearly 32 million ATM cards, making up over 93%, the State Bank of Vietnam stated.

However, this figure does not reflect correctly the number of card users, Director of the central bank’s HCMC branch said, reasoning that many ATM cards became inactive after the issuance.

As of December 31, 2010, Agribank was the top card issuers with 5.7 million ATM cards followed by Vietinbank with 5.6 million cards, Dong A Bank with 5.1 million cards and Vietcombank with 4.7 million cards.

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