What’s in Your Wallet (or on your Screen), Vietnam?

The headline reads: “E-payments booming in Vietnam.”  Welcome to the new Vietnam!  I never knew that electronic payments could have that much of an economic impact.  So how would I know?  I still carry around a little cash in my pockets, unless I am going through airport security lines (what a pain!).  I’ll have to get one of those TSA pre-screened status life-time membership cards, but even those lines seem to be getting longer.  Sorry for the digression, but I do feel a little better.  Now back to Vietnam and the E-payment boom.

Increased use of electronic payment products added US$880 million to Vietnam’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 2011 to 2015 (now that’s a lot of dong, look it up!).  The use of electronic payment systems including credit, debit and prepaid cards helped create an average increase of 75,000 jobs annually during this five year period.  Vietnam experienced the second highest rate of GDP growth due to increased use of electronic payments.  Singapore was third and Thailand first.  Whoever thought that using credit cards could help a country’s economy?  Most people just get deeper in debt.

Here’s another side of the story.  “Electronic payments help minimize what is commonly referred to as the grey economy – economic activity that is often cash-based and goes unreported.”  So I guess if you really want to help your country’s economy keep using all your electronic payment options.  You too, can become too big to fail?

Ray Myers