Vietnamese international spending grew at twice the rate of domestic expenditure in lead-up to Tet holiday: Visa data



Vietnamese consumers are spending more and preferring contactless payment modes in the lead-up to and during the Tet holiday according to Visa, a global leader in digital payments. Analysis by the Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA) team – Visa’s payments advisory arm – unveiled this latest trend based on VisaNet data1, showing a significant uptick in Vietnamese consumer spend.

These observations align with the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade's projections of a ten per cent increase in consumer purchasing power compared to the previous year. Visa’s data showed that consumers spent the most on food, including quick service restaurants and groceries, and transport in the month leading up to Tet.

Notably, international expenditure by Vietnamese consumers grew at twice the rate of domestic spending2. The growth in international expenditure can be attributed to increased online shopping and more holiday-goers travelling abroad. Previous research from Visa shows that 30% of surveyed Vietnamese respondents have traveled for leisure or business purposes in the past 12 months, with the most popular overseas destinations being Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, the UK, and the USA3.

E-commerce transactions boosted international expenditure, with a surge during the festive period with double the year-on-year growth in e-commerce transactions compared to brick-and-mortar spend4. Vietnamese shoppers are also growing more confident in online shopping, even for traditionally physical interaction-heavy categories like insurance, transport, and lodging – the top three categories for e-commerce transactions.

Businesses, on the other hand, invested heavily in online advertising, reflecting the preparation and celebratory activities during this season, such as gift buying, food and decoration purchases, family visits, and business promotions.

Ms. Dung Dang, Visa Country Manager for Vietnam and Laos, said: "We're witnessing a rise in digital payments adoption and a diversification in spending categories, both online and offline. With Tet being a major spending period for Vietnamese, this presents both opportunities and challenges for businesses to meet the changing needs and expectations of consumers during this festive season."

The majority of consumers also opted for contactless payments during this festive period, with 64% of contactless transactions made on Visa cards from January to February 20245. This is in line with the trend of growing acceptance of contactless payments among merchants, with the latest data from Visa’s Consumer Payment Attitudes 2023 study6 showing that at least 74% of Vietnamese consumers frequently use contactless payments, particularly mobile wallet payments, for food & dining, shopping, and convenience store purchases.

An increasing number of consumers are also using their credit cards domestically to take advantage of the benefits and rewards offered by these cards. In a separate study7, more than half (55%) of consumers who were surveyed preferred using their credit cards when shopping in Vietnam because of rewards, miles and cashback offers.



1 2 4 VisaNet data tracking consumer spend from 17 Jan 2024 to 17 Feb 2024.

3 7 The Green Shoots Radar study was conducted online with 8,400 consumers across 14 Asia Pacific countries and territories including 500 Vietnamese respondents aged 18-65 years old, in January 2024.

5 VisaNet data from January to February 2024.

6 The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study was prepared by CLEAR M&C Saatchi in Oct-Nov 2023, surveyed amongst 6,550 consumers in Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The study conducted interviews with 1.000 Vietnamese consumers across the country who are working part or full time with a demographic mix that sought to create a representative mix of ages (18-65), genders and income levels.


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