CARDS & PAYMENTS | Staff Reporter, Vietnam

Vietnamese banks urged to tighten card issuance

A group claims that 50 million of the 132 million cards in circulation are not being used.

Over a third (37.87%) of the bank cards in circulation in Vietnam are not in use, the Viet Nam Bank Card Association said in a report by Viet Nam News. 

This translates to 50 million out of 132 million cards issued in the country, suggesting a growing waste of resources.

“Each bank card costs around $1.32 (VNĐ30,000) and 50 million inoperative cards add up to $53.5m (VND1.5t), a huge financial waste,” a spokesman for the association told Người Lao Động (Labourers) newspaper.

The association urged the country’s lenders to set card targets for staff based on the number of cards that are in actual use as well as impose fees to avoid frivolous demands for cards.

Also read: Vietnam bank loans up 6.16% in May

The ease by which criminals can easily obtain a card may pose a problem as the central bank called for the acceleration of the conversion of 70 million magnetic cards in circulation into chip cards in an effort to protect holders against growing card crimes.

Under a plan drawn by the the State Bank of Vietnam, the conversion would be completed no later than December 31, 2020. However, analysts warn of the costs banks must bear to complete the conversion with the country's four state banks needing at least $50m to fully shift from magnetic to chip cards.

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