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FT Confidential Research

Red tape holds Vietnam back in digital payments

E-wallet rules need relaxing to break dominance of cash

A shop keeper holds a 100,000 Vietnamese dong ($4.90) bank note at a mini-mart in Hanoi   © Reuters

Vietnam risks stumbling in its goal of becoming a cashless society as central bank regulations constrain the spread of digital transactions.

Investment is pouring into the sector and plenty of cash is being burned, as companies spend aggressively to gain market share. But the State Bank of Vietnam will have to relax its stance if the takeup of digital payments is not to be disrupted by tighter rules on e-wallets.

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