GPAY, Vietnam’s startup gets license to commence their operations

by Felicia Calle

GPAY, a Vietnamese digital payment platform, has received a license from Vietnam’s central bank, and according to the announcement, this license will allow the company to implement online payments as well as offer services with respect to e-wallet, cash collections, and other e-payments.

GPAY was founded in 2018, and it has been offering 24/7 money transfer services since then. The company claims that it has reached more than US$50 million GMV and has its presence in 42 provinces and cities as of a statement issued.

It has plans to expand and offer nationwide digital payment services to more than five million users by 2023.

“GPAY has a supportive ecosystem from G-group with above 20 million users of financial platforms, game community, social network, and technology companies. We will invest more in technology and hiring talents and will have Series A funding round soon too,” Cong Tran, a board member of GPAY stated.

GPAY is in talks with financial and corporate investors for the Series A round, Tran revealed to DealStreetAsia. G-Group funded the seed round.

G-Group is a technology holding company that owns unit businesses in financial services, gaming media security, and social network. The investments of G-Group include the P2P leading startup, Tima, which raised a US$3 million Series A funding from a homegrown social media clone of Facebook, Gapo, and Belt Road Capital Management in 2018.

After GPAY received the license, now the total number of accredited digital payment platforms in the country is 33, according to the central bank of Vietnam.

The recent accredited digital payment firms include PayTech, Dibee, Smart Net, Epay, FinViet, and Payme, which were all accredited in 2019.

Of the 33 firms, 12 were known to receive support or acquired by foreign investors. VNPAY is the largest of them all, and SoftBank Vision Fund, plus Singapore sovereign fund GIC backs it. MoMo, another major digital payment firm, bagged financing from Warburg Pincus.

Others include Payoo, which was acquired by NTT Data, Moca, a strategic partner of Grab, 1Pay, acquired by Ascend Money-Thailand affiliate of Ant Financial, and eMonkey, which is said to sell a sizable stake to Ant Financial.

Vingroup, a local conglomerate, has as well ventured into the space after it acquired a license for the startup MonPay.

The decision of a foreign ownership cap in digital payment businesses is expected to be issued by the Vietnam central bank by June this year. SBV had proposed to put a 49% foreign ownership limit in this sector, but it eventually scrapped off the term. 

“SBV received opinions that because payment intermediary is a new service tapping technology advancement, foreign investment plays a critical role in developing the business,” the government body stated in a statement earlier. The final ruling is subject to the approval of the Prime Minister.

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