Vietnam to Remove Limit 49% of Foreign Investors’ Capital Contribution for Intermediary Payment Firms

February 2020

In the draft decree replacing Decree 101/2012 / ND-CP stipulating non-cash payment submitted to the Government in June 2020, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) is expected not to put the limit of 49% foreign ownership limit in payment intermediary businesses.

The earlier draft proposal with the 49% foreign ownership cap was an attempt to fix safeguards and assure monetary safety. However, the 49% threshold had encountered opposition by both digital payment companies and other ecosystem stakeholders since foreign investment plays a critical role in the growing electric payment services and some startups have already had overseas investments exceeding 49% equity. In 2019, five leading players in Vietnam, which accounted for about 90% e-wallet market share, were 30-90% owned by foreign investors. The earlier draft is seen to create an adverse impact on their business.

Several e-payment companies in Vietnam include MoMo with 60% owned by foreign companies, Payoo acquired by NTT Data and foreign ownership exceeding 49%, VNG‘s subsidiary ZaloPay, Sea Limited’s AirPay, SenPay – associated with e-commerce major Sendo, Moca – Vietnamese strategic partner of Grab, and Monpay acquired by Vingroup.


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