Vietnam Business Channel

Vietnam’s banks to issue 21 million new “Chip” cards

Seven of Vietnam’s largest banks announced today that in collaboration with the National Payment Corporation of Viet Nam, they will begin to issue new ATM cars that meet EMV security standards beginning May 28th.

The seven banks are: ABBank, Agribank, BIDV, Sacombank, TPBank, VietinBank and Vietcombank. Together, these banks issue approximately 70% of the country’s bankcards. Additional banks have also registered, or are in the process of registering with NAPAS to also issue the new chip cards.

An example of a bankcard using EMV “chip” technology

Nguyen Quang Minh, Deputy General Director of NAPAS said that NAPAS has everything in place to help the banks make the switch and that together with the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) that 30% of cards with replaced this year and all 75 million of the current magnetic strip ATM cards in the country will be replaced by the end of 2021.

The key factor of the new chip cards is that the information contained in the chips is encrypted and only the issuing bank can read the data and therefore the risk of information being stolen or counterfeit cards being made is greatly reduced. Statistics show that counterfeit transaction rates decrease sharply with chip cards, and that chip cards, possess many advantages that will help boost cashless payment in Vietnam.

Mastercard is developing new bankcards that use both EMV chip and Biometric technologies

Nguyen Minh Tam, Deputy CEO of Sacombank, said that his bank has completed all technical requirements and is ready to issue new cards in accordance with Vietnam Chip Card Specifications (VCCS), which uses contactless technology and can make payment via QR code in line with EMV specifications. The bank plans to issue the new chip cards to new customers and replace older cards over the next two years.

Banks are enthusiastic about the new chip cards, but with an average cost of $1.7 USD per card, replacing the 75 million cards in circulation the total cost of replacement is projected to be more than $130 million USD, which does not include costs to also upgrade ATM’s and retail POS systems. It is expected that banks will provide the new cards to their top customers for free, while customers at lower “levels” will be expected to pay for the new cards.



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