Vietnamese commercial banks are striving to expand and improve Vietnam’s credit card market, which has huge potentials, the Thanh Nien Online reported.

The article cited statistics published by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) which showed that by the end of Q3/2014, an astounding 76 million cards were issued by 50 banks and credit institutes, but credit cards accounted for just 4 percent (approximately 3 million cards).

Credit cards, a convenient form of payment, are popular internationally and used by most frequent travellers. However, the Vietnamese public is not used to credit cards, providing a large gap in the market that could be seized upon.

Besides, credit cards are not accepted widely in the country except for major shopping centres and hotels, which is another reason why few people want to use it.

Even companies are not willing to use credit cards. Quang Minh, head of a representative foreign office in Hanoi, said most of his staff were hesitant to use credit cards to pay for expenses during business trips due to the interest payments incurred by the card.

To win over business clients, some of the biggest banks have issued special credit cards for this group of customers, such as Vietcombank’s American Express (Amex) credit card which provides financial support for organisations and businesses during a 57-day interest free period.

In addition, the credit card issuers offer their customers detailed account statements, indicating their total spending in a specific period. Thanks to this transparency in transaction management, enterprises can improve relations with their important partners.

According to some experts, credit cards will become more attractive for enterprises as they now often come with a global travel insurance package. Vietcombank American Express provides an insurance package worth 4 billion VND (186,000 USD) together with other services, such as global emergency assistance and professional advice.

Business credit cards mark the emergence of a new kind of quality in Vietnam’s credit card market. This market will hold a great potential for commercial banks in many years to come.-VNA