CARDS & PAYMENTS | Staff Reporter, Vietnam

Vietnamese oppose plan to pay using bank cheques

Government wants payment via banks to create a non-cash economy.

The State Bank of Vietnam, the central bank, has drafted a decree proposing that payments should be made by bank cheques for transactions involving valuable assets such as houses, cars or motorcycles. The draft decree says people would have to make payment via banks, even if they buy a motorcycle.

The government said it can order payments be made by cheques because the requirement is within the state’s competence. It can also force businesses to make payment in cheques when the payment volume exceeds a certain threshold.

Critics argue, however, that people have the right to decide their payment method and should be allowed to make payment in cash, gold, or cheques. They say that in developed economies, people are used to making payment with credit cards, while only one percent of transactions are made in cash.

This, however, would be impractical in Vietnam. Buyers would have to pay bank service fee and would have to deposit their money at banks, which will exploit their savings to make massive profits.

The surprisingly high bad debt ratios and the arrest of a many big bankers have raised doubts about the capability of Vietnamese banks to handle deposits.



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