Fifty million of the 132 million bank cards issued in the country are not in use, causing an enormous waste of resources, the Việt Nam Bank Card Association has said.
“Each bank card costs around VNĐ30,000 (US$1.3) and 50 million inoperative cards add up to VNĐ1.5 trillion ($53.5 million), a huge financial waste,” a spokesman for the association told Người Lao Động (Labourers) newspaper.
He blamed banks for the situation, saying they compete with each other to issue as many cards as possible.
“Bank staff only care about their monthly card issuance target and not the needs of customers. So many people have several cards but only use one or two of them.
Nguyễn Văn Thuận, a lecturer at the Marketing – Finance University, said: “Another reason for the situation is banks approach enterprises when their bosses retire by offering loans at competitive interest rates on the condition they should pay their staff salary through them. Thus, enterprises change banks often.”
To attract customers, banks often waive joining fees and annual fees for cards and do not check people’s income verification.
A Vietcombank executive said since it is easy for banks to issue cards, they have issued a huge number of cards. But many of them are not operational.
He warned that swindlers take advantage of the easy conditions to cheat. They hire people to obtain a debit card, pay them VNĐ200,000 – 400,000 ($9 – 18) per card and then use the card to cheat people.
“They call or send messages to people to inform them that since they are involved with criminal gangs, they would be investigated by the police.
“Then they tell the victims to deposit an amount of money into the account saying if they are innocent the police would return the money.
“After drawing the money, they destroy the card.”
The association has advised banks that they should set card targets for staff based on the number of cards actually being used, and should collect fees to avoid frivolous demands for cards.
The State Bank of Việt Nam has recently ordered all banks to tighten cards issuance to ensure safety.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker from VietnamNews.vn