Buying goods and services without cash has been more prevalent than ever before. Nevertheless, Vietnamese seem to prefer exchanging bills for purchases under VND 100,000 (US$ 4.3). As a result, there are pros and cons of cashless payment in Vietnam that you should consider.
The Benefits of Living in a Cashless Vietnam
It is much quicker to whip out and swipe your cards for payment
Time and effort saving: Counting cash can take so much time, especially for a large sum, and can lead to overpayment due to mistaking the Vietnamese currency. Moreover, booking in advance, like accommodations or vehicles, by using cards can save so much stress while being on holiday.
Financial control: Although traveling to Vietnam is not expensive; you should carefully manage your budget. Using cash can be a hassle to keep track of the money left in your wallet. On the other hand, you can check all of your transactions while making cashless payments.
Avoid minor thieves: Carrying a lot of cash can make you an easy target for thieves, especially in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. So it is much safer having credit cards when you visit Vietnam. Besides, most Vietnamese large businesses allow cashless payment, so it can be more reliable to purchase something with high financial values.
Some Drawback of Cashless Payment in Vietnam
The extra charge is usually the reason why expats hesitate to use international cards in Vietnam
Cashless payment is not commonly used: Probably the biggest hurdle is that many Vietnamese merchants operate cash-only businesses. Street vendors, concession stands, and taxis usually fall into this category. Moreover, in rural areas, most things are paid by paper money, because people tend to believe what they can touch and see.
Extra charge: You can be charged when buying things without cash in Vietnam. The fee usually ranges from 1.5 to 3 percent of the purchased price.
Some Options for Cashless Payment in Vietnam
Visa and Mastercard are the most common for cashless transactions in Vietnam
Credit cards such as Visa, Master Card, JBC, and American Express are the most common credit cards accepted in Vietnam. You can easily use these cards to withdraw money from ATMs, though there’s an additional 3-4 percent per transaction. You should note that all payments are in Vietnam Dong, so you also have to bear a currency conversion fee.
Credit cards can be used in big coffee chains (Starbucks, The Coffee House, Cheese Coffee, etc.), supermarkets (Coopmart, Big C, Lotte Mart, Emart, etc.) and convenience stores ( Circle K, GS 25, Shop & Go, etc.). You can even buy medicine by cashless payment at Pharmacity, a reliable medicine retailer in Vietnam.
“The Coffee House” is one of the places where you can use your credit cards
See where to find ATMs in Ho Chi Minh City.
MoMo works both as an in-person transaction service and a payment app
MoMo: MoMo has two main features: online shop and e-wallet. You can use this in convenience stores, to top up your SIM cards, to book transportations, and more. Simply add money to this wallet directly using international payments networks, including Visa, MasterCard as well as JCB.
Moca: Moca’s one of the leading e-wallets in Vietnam. With its vast network of partners, including Grab, 7-Eleven, and McDonald’s, Moca allows users to pay for their services with convenience. Users can also link their Visa card/MasterCard to Moca or link their bank account (Shinhan Bank and most Vietnamese banks) to transfer money easier.
ZaloPay: This e-wallet provides a diversity of mobile payment ecosystem, which allows users to pay for utility bills and transfer money via QR code. Moreover, it also connects with many bank accounts in Vietnam for cash withdrawals and easy purchase of movie tickets or airplane tickets.
Most popular e-wallets in Vietnam
Book your hotels on Agoda and pay online:
Our Conclusion on Cashless Payment in Vietnam
It is nearly impossible to entirely go with cashless payment in Vietnam since it isn’t accessible in all regions. Tourists can use credit cards for hotels, restaurants, and coffee houses. But when you’re eating street food, shopping in markets, and drinking in smaller bars, cash is your best option. If you are unclear about where to exchange money, let’s visit our guide on Money exchange spots in Hanoi and Money exchange spots in Ho Chi Minh City.
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