The demand for instant remittances in Vietnam has been soaring. To cater for the needs of the three million people living outside the country, WorldRemit has partnered with Sacombank to launch instant money transfers to 553 different locations in Vietnam.

Vietnamese working abroad may now send money easily

Vietnamese living and working abroad may now easily send money to their families and friends instantly. The country has become one of the top ten global receive markets for remittances, according to Ismail Ahmed, the founder and CEO of WorldRemit. Indeed, as more and more Vietnamese go overseas to work, the inflow of money transfers has soared as the Vietnamese diaspora living abroad plays a critical role in financially supporting families back home. In 2016, the total value of incoming remittances grew from $ 400M to $ 13.4, according to the statistics of the World Bank.

Prior to the WorldRemit services, Vietnamese abroad has to endure various hardships to send money home. Long waiting times and high fees were common. With the WorldRemit app, they can now transfer money as easily as an instant message. Vietnamese living in more than 50 countries may now easily do so while the cash amount may be picked up from 553 locations on the same day.

WorldRemit offers its services in 140 countries and the money transfer procedures are user-friendly and not costly. Money may be sent as cash pickups, as bank deposits, as mobile money or as airtime top-up. Partnering with Sacombank, WorldRemit is really enlarging the scope of transfer services in Vietnam. Beneficiaries have no fee to pay and may receive money in USD, AUD, CAD or VND. The origin of money received needs not to be declared and beneficiaries do not have to open a bank account obligatorily. A personal ID or a passport is however needed for verification purposes.

Vietnam is a promising remittance market

With over 3 million Vietnamese working overseas, Vietnam has become a promising remittance market. As such, multiple money transfer companies, as well as banks, consider the Vietnamese diaspora as their target customers.

Often dubbed as Asia’s next Tiger economy, Vietnam is a country with a stunning economic growth, largely supported by capital sent from Vietnamese living abroad. After the Vietnam War in 1975, many left the country as refugees and migrants. Today, approximately 7- 8{8b3f73219b5080a422b1f04099b73d538078b62721cecdfd0086dbdff3438969} of households receive money from families and friends from overseas. International remittances keep increasing and are currently estimated to reach US 12.3 billion yearly. However, the World Bank does not have any tracks of international remittance to Vietnam prior to 2000.

Informal channels were used for international remittances to Vietnam

In the recent past itself, most international remittances to Vietnam were carried out through informal channels such as the hawala-style transfers and courier services. In the 1980s, remittances took a different form; goods sent from overseas could be exchanged on the thriving black market in the socialist embargoed economy. It is in the mid-1990s that international remittances started shifting towards more formal transfer channels like banks and money transfer service providers such as the Western Union and MoneyGram.

Nonetheless, the emergence of formal channels has not erased the informal ones. Certain people still prefer them for their low fees and discreet home delivery far from prying eyes of neighbors or family members.

Vietnam is home to a wide range of remittance categories

Other categories of financial returns in Vietnam consist of collective remittances like donations to charitable or religious institutions. There are also many Vietnamese living overseas setting up businesses in the country, especially after the Politburo Resolution 36 passed in 2004, affirming overseas Vietnamese as “an integral part of the nation”. Most remittances are used for health care, housing, and education as well. They are also invested in internet access, computers and telephone cards for connection with families abroad. Slowly but surely, a whole constellation of remittance and money transfers services is forming up in the country.