Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup has obtained an e-wallet licence from the State Bank of Vietnam for its payment unit VinID, according to an announcement.
The licence, effective until 2027, is a renewed certification after VinID acquired People Care JSC, the operator of digital wallet MonPay. People Care first received the licence in 2017.
Vingroup established VinID in 2018, in which it owns a majority stake of 80 per cent. Another 20 per cent is held by ViCare JSC – a health-tech startup previously backed by Cyberagent Capital – and an individual.
Initially, a loyalty programme for Vingroup’s customers, the $17-billion Vietnamese juggernaut has built VinID as a fintech arm along with its digital transformation roadmap. Other Vingroup’s technology businesses include smartphone production, AI research, e-commerce and venture capital.
In terms of payment intermediary, Vietnam has granted licences to 31 companies, according to data from the central bank. Among these companies, a lot of investment and M&A activity has occurred as investors seek licences to operate in the country’s payment sector.
Biggest deals in the industry are $300 million financing rounds in VNPAY by SoftBank and GIC, and Warburg Pincus’s investment in MoMo (said to be around $120 million). Consolidation, mostly by overseas players, has also taken place with Ant Financial-backed Thai firm Ascend Money acquiring 1Pay, NTT Data acquiring Payoo, AirPay owned by Sea Limited, Grab investing in Moca and VNPT E-Pay majority-owned by South Korean fund UTC Investment.
Local tech group NextTech has merged its two fintech units, e-wallet Vimo and mPOS, to form NextPay amid increasing competition.