VNPT EPAY will soon allow its customers to perform international remittances via a connection to BICS’ global remittance hub.
This collaboration will make VNPT EPAY - the electronic payment arm of Vietnam’s state-owned VNPT - the first firm in Vietnam to introduce cross-border payments via mobile.
The backend technical connection between both companies’ systems has already taken place, and the new service is expected to go live soon, a spokesperson for Beligium-based BICS told TelecomAsia.
Before the connection, VNPT EPAY’s services had been limited to the domestic market, where it holds relationships with six local banks. Customers would use the firm’s services to pay utility bills, top up mobile airtime and make online payments and transfers.
The tie-up with BICS will allow people in the UK and Belgium to send funds to the mobile wallets of VNPT subscribers in Vietnam almost instantly.
The service is primarily aimed at the population of Vietnamese working abroad. Transfer rates charged by the new service would vary from country to country but would generally be lower than those charged by traditional money transfer services, the BICS spokesperson said, without going into specifics.
“The mobile market in Vietnam has developed rapidly over the past years, and Vietnam is also a country that receives a high volume of international remittances,” said Nguyen Quang Minh, general director of VNPT EPAY, who added the he hoped the promise of a faster transfer time than traditional transfer services would draw the interest of customers.
BICS’ global mobile remittance service, dubbed HomeSend, allows the mobile wallet systems of two separate service providers to be integrated. The platform supports cash to mobile and mobile to cash transfers and can also be integrated with banking systems.
The service has been implemented in over 10 mobile operators worldwide including Globe Telecom in the Philippines. BICS says the service can be extended to markets beyond the UK and Belgium without additional cost for the operator.