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Vietnam Finds New Ways to Spend, and Pile up Debt

At a new Vietnamese restaurant last week, a diner asked to pay by credit card, so the waitress brought out a card reader she’d never used before. After a minute, she wondered why the machine didn’t ask for a PIN, only to learn that it was not required for credit cards, only debit cards. Small businesses like the eatery are still learning the ropes, because paying by credit remains a new trend in Vietnam. But it is telling that even an enterprise of that small size is adopting point-of-sales machines, a sign that credit and digital transactions are on the rise at all levels of commerce big and small in the country. This may present a "dao hai luoi," or a double edge sword. Advancing technology like e-payments can contribute to what is already one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. But at the same time, growing reliance on credit to drive consumption -- as in the U.S. consumption-led economy -- increases the risk that Vietnamese will take on more loans than they can bear, or live beyond their means. Credit trends are good and bad It’s not just Vietnam. This comes at a time of increasing fears around the world that too much debt might trigger the next global recession -- from the government bonds held by Italy’s banks, to the borrowing spree of China’s local governments, to the increased U.S. interest rates that make it harder for developing countries to pay back loans denominated in dollars. In Vietnam, data from payments company Visa in September showed that digital transactions jumped 45 percent from June 2017 to June 2018. The numbers were not broken down into credit versus debit payments, but they are an indication that Vietnamese are using more credit cards. The overall change is good for... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Vietnam Finds New Ways to Spend, and Pile up Debt, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Vietnam Finds New Ways to Spend, and Pile up Debt

 

 

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Published By: VOA NEWS - Thursday, 27 December

 

 

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