Of course, online payment is still a huge problem that is holding back new and potential online commerce models in Vietnam and across the region. Whoever cracks the problem is likely to become a multi-millionaire, and possibly even a billionaire. There are quite a few folks in this space across the region, like NTT Docomo, InMobi, Alipaynd, here in Vietnam, there are folks like Payoo, 1Pay, NganLuong, and Mobivi. That last one, Mobivi, has been working on the payment problem in Vietnam since 2008, and is making some new moves in the industry in the past few months. The latest announcement includes a very targeted plan at a very specific area in Ho Chi Minh City.
In comes PayLink. The company operates various types of online payment solutions across over 180 countries. In Vietnam, its main thing is kiosks. PayLink is teaming up with Mobivi as well as the Phu My Hung Development Corporation to bring PayLink kiosks to Phu My Hung. Phu My Hung, which is one of Vietnam’s most Singapore-esque areas nestled inside of District 7. It’s an area of Ho Chi Minh City that is unlike any other part of the city. Why? Because the streets are wide, most of the eateries are major chains, and there a sleek new skyscrapers that house mostly Japanese, Koreans, and wealthy Vietnamese people. In other words, it’s the upscale part out of town. In May, Mobivi released an employee credit card for companies wanting to offer extra e-commerce benefits to their employees. The PayLink deal now allows Mobivi to extend its quasi-online payment services to a very niche group.
PayLink’s kiosks will allow residents in the Phu My Hung area to pay for a wide array of services including mobile phone pre-paid cards, game top-ups, software purchases, and utility bill payments. By the end of the year, PayLink will also be adding service fee collections, bus tickets, airline booking, Megastar movie ticketing, and daily deals.
The cooperation now extends Mobivi’s play into more niche online and quasi-online payment methods that it hasn’t tried before. With employee credit cards and very specific areas in Vietnam, Mobivi is certainly going for a more lean strategy. We’ll see by the end of the year what kind of traction it gets and how this may or may not evolve into the next phase of online payment solutions that could take off in Vietnam.