As of 2021, Vietnam had the 41st largest economy in the world with an estimated PPP adjusted GDP per capita of $11,608 (Cebr World Economic League Table, 2022).
Vietnam’s economic growth story has been nothing short of a miracle, with the Đoi Moi reform period in the mid 1980s, coupled with favorable global trends, enabling the nation to achieve rapid economic growth, and propelling the country from a poor country to a lower-middle-class country.
Vietnam does currently have a central real-time payments infrastructure that was launched by NAPAS, the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam, in 2020. This system provides a 24/7, near-real-time interbank funds transfer service across Vietnam.
However, data availability on the usage of this is very limited, and we are only able to estimate the payments mix for 2021, while solely disaggregating between paper-based payments and electronic payments (including those which are real-time). As real-time payments were unable to be stripped out, the economic impacts are exclusively presented for the maximum attainable benefits in 2021.
The country has a population fast approaching 100 million and more than 4.6 billion transactions in 2021 (78.9% of which are already electronic).
Consequently, the potential unrealized benefits are the key areas for Vietnamese policymakers to look to take advantage of by increasing real-time payments take-up rates.
We estimate that there is a theoretical maximum of $1.2 billion in business- and consumer-level benefits that Vietnam can unlock in 2021, supporting 2.2% of formal GDP ($8,311 of economic output, which is equivalent to the support of 1.2 million jobs).
This is predominantly driven by the potential of real-time payments to reduce the size of the informal economy and formalize significant portions of economic activity. In Vietnam, we estimate that $7.9 billion of currently informal output could be shifted to the licit economy under 100% real-time payments usage.
We do not have forecasts for the payments mix in Vietnam in 2026; therefore, we are unable to present these forward-looking economic impacts, as with other countries, within the scope of our research. However, as seen by the potential impacts of full real-time utilization in 2021, there is significant potential for the benefits of real-time payments to facilitate further economic prosperity in the country.
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Theoretical maximum net savings stimulated by real-time payments
Projected net savings stimulated by real-time payments
Theoretical of economic output
of GDP facilitated by real-time payments
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