The number of Vietnamese people making mobile payments in stores this year has grown fastest globally by 24 percent.
A survey by the audit, tax and consulting services provider PwC found 37 percent of the respondents making mobile payments in 2018, but it went to 61 percent this year, placing Vietnam fourth below China at 86 percent, Thailand at 67 percent and Hong Kong at 64 percent.
In terms of growth, the Middle East ranked second at 20 percent, said the Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019, which polled 21,000 online consumers in 27 territories.
"Mobile payment is becoming a new trend with the rise of technologies such as QR codes, contactless payments, and the tokenization of card information," Nghiem Thanh Son, deputy director of the Department of Payments at the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), had said earlier.
The Vietnamese government is working to accelerate the use of cashless transactions. In a resolution released January, it tasked the central bank to come up with solutions that would promote the use of e-wallets, which allow users to deposit cash into their e-wallets without the need for a bank account.
However, Vietnam is still far away from becoming a cashless society, given low financial literacy and the lack of an ecosystem, experts say.
The use of cash in Vietnam remains high. World Bank's statistics released last year showed that Vietnam had the lowest percentage of cashless transactions in the region with only 4.9 percent, while this value for China and Thailand were 26.1 percent and 59.7 percent respectively.