Vietnamese budget carrier Vietjet to launch e-payment service

VietJet Air CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao speaks behind a model of a VietJet aircraft during an interview in her office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, January 10, 2017. Photo: REUTERS/Kham/File Photo

Vietnamese budget carrier Vietjet has set up a subsidiary to operate an intermediary payment service, according to its announcement.

The new subsidiary, in which Vietjet Aviation Joint Stock Company owns a 51 per cent stake, will have a charter capital of VND50 billion ($2.1 million).

Information relating to other shareholders has not been disclosed. 

Local media reported that the budget carrier is developing a supper app that will not only sell air tickets but also offer other services such as hotels, car rentals, loans. Currently, Vietjet is implementing payment utilities for customers via credit cards, domestic debit cards, e-banking, and has cooperated with local wallets, such as Momo and ZaloPay, for the same.

Last year, Vietjet partnered with Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing firm Grab and local air delivery service startup Swift247 to provide air travel solutions to customers across the region, as well as super express delivery services in Vietnam.

“The strategic partnership allows Vietjet and Grab to leverage on technological advantages to develop low-cost solutions for road and air mobility,” the companies said in a joint statement.

In the e-wallet market, most recently, the Vietnamese digital payment company GPAY has received a payment intermediary licence from the country’s central bank.

Vietnam currently has 34 licensed e-wallets to date. Of the total, 12 companies were known to have received support or acquired by foreign investors. VNPAY is understood to be the largest funded e-payment firm, backed by SoftBank Vision Fund and Singapore sovereign fund GIC, while MoMo bagged financing from private equity major Warburg Pincus.

Market research firm Statista found that Vietnam’s total digital payments transaction value was $8.52 billion in 2019. That value is expected to grow 12.7 per cent per year until 2023 to reach $13.74 billion.

In another move, a pilot project on mobile money has been submitted to the Prime Minister for approval, which could open the door to mobile money in Vietnam. The country’s three leading telecommunications firms – Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), Viettel and MobiFone — are preparing to move ahead with their plans once the pilot is approved.

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Singapore Reporter/s

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).

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

  • 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.