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Lack of electronic payment options hamper growth of online commerce   2011-01-03 - VNS

Businesses involved in e-commerce need to promote their image while helping consumers better use their services. — VNA/VNS Photo Pham Hau

Businesses involved in e-commerce need to promote their image while helping consumers better use their services. — VNA/VNS Photo Pham Hau

Credit cards and other electronic payment systems essential to online shopping remained underutilised in Viet Nam, said Viet Nam Vat Gia Joint Stock Co director Nguyen Ngoc Diep.

About 30 million people nationwide were using the internet as of October of this year, with the figure expected to surge to 40 million over the next three years, but few Vietnamese consumers had or used credit cards and so have not yet established habits of buying merchandise online, Diep said.

"Meanwhile, buyers and sellers have not established any trust since many e-commerce websites are operated without care and with low security. Due to poor marketing, e-commerce stands at a low level among consumers," he said. "It's an uphill battle for e-commerce companies."

Businesses involved in e-commerce needed to promote their images while helping consumers better use their services, he added.

But business investment in e-commerce remained low, accounting for only 5 per cent of total business expenditure while bringing in up to a third of customer orders, according to a recent Ministry of Industry and Trade survey of about 2,000 enterprises. Businesses themselves also placed about 28 per cent of their total orders online.

Vu Thi Bach Nga, an official of the Viet Nam Competition Administration Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said e-commerce helped cut intermediaries in distribution and saved time and money for both sellers and buyers.

Nga said that e-commerce included business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and consumer-to-consumer formats using the internet, mobile phones and email.

However, fraud was also increasing rapidly, undercutting consumer trust in e-commerce, she said, noting that the draft Law on Consumer Protection was expected to address measures to protect consumer rights in using e-commerce, helps the growth of the online industry.

Meanwhile, banking has become one of the leading fields in successfully applying e-commerce, with substantial efforts made to upgrade technology in order to manage transactions online.

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