ATM card holders in Vietnam had 89.8 trillion VND (4.08 billion USD) in 42.7 million current accounts at the end of June, according to the latest data from the State Bank of Vietnam. The savings earn 1.2 percent in interest per year.

The central bank said that overall savings were down by 10 trillion VND (454.54 million USD) from early June, but still higher than the last months of 2012.

By the end of the first quarter, the amount in ATM accounts was 99 trillion VND (4.5 billion USD), much higher than the 85 trillion VND (3.86 billion USD) for the same period last year.

The SBV said by the end of the second quarter, year-on-year current accounts rose from 10 percent to 15 percent both in account number and value. However, no specific comparative figures were released.

According to the Vietnam Card Association, nearly 20 years after being introduced, millions of Vietnam's ATM cards are still used to withdraw cash at ATMs instead of performing non-cash transactions.

The central bank has taken measures to boost non-cash transactions, including a draft decree on limiting the use of cash for large transactions which is expected to be submitted to the Government for approval this year.

Under the draft, individuals will not be allowed to pay for securities, houses, land and large vehicles with cash.

Organisations will not be allowed to use cash for transactions in real estate, securities, aircraft, ships and cars, or transactions exceeding the limit set by the central bank.

The central bank is also implementing a project on non-cash payments. It hopes to have 150,000 point of sales (POS) nationwide by 2015 compared to the present 94,000.-VNA