Cashless payment in Vietnam could grow to 50% in three years: MoMo CEO

For Vietnamese e-wallet MoMo operator M-Services – that has received a total of $33 million funding from Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered Private Equity before it announced another investment from Warburg Pincus earlier this year – the biggest competitor it faces is the cash economy, not other rivals in the region.

While it has expanded its scope of operations to money transfer and lending, MoMo is pinning hopes on cashless transactions, accounting for 10 per cent in Vietnam, gradually increasing to 50 per cent in the next three years. “In the next two to three years, cashless payment will be the force that will significantly shift the Vietnamese economy,” Pham Thanh Duc, CEO of M-Service, told DEALSTREETASIA,in an interaction.

While fintech is sweeping through the traditional economy in Vietnam like everywhere else in the world, the vast majority of the local people remain unbanked or underbanked. According to World Bank, only 40 per cent of Vietnamese adults had a bank account in 2017. MoMo is one of the local companies targeting at the other 60 per cent.

Founded in 2007, M-Service was the first company to build mobile money solutions and also the first to receive e-wallet licence from the State Bank of Vietnam.

MoMo will continue to focus on its core business of payment as new services hinge on external factors like regulations and consumer behaviour. “MoMo is a consumer brand. Therefore, once a service is implemented, it is required that we serve a wider customer base of millions of people,” he said.

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.