Vietcombank will cancel and reissue its Connect24 debit cards in line with a plan by the State Bank of Vietnam to standardise the Bank Identification Number (BIN) system nationwide.
Between now and June 30, 2011, Connect24 cardholders will therefore be able to request new cards with Vietcombank’s updated BIN. During that time, they will also be able to continue using their old cards. But effective July 1, 2011, all cards issued under the old BIN will be terminated.
Connect24 holds the leading share of the domestic payment card market, with 4 million cards outstanding out of an estimated 17 million issued by all banks nationwide.
Vietcombank deputy director Dao Minh Tuan said that, before the central bank’s regulation was issued in 2007, each bank was allowed to select its own BIN. But, when many banks issued their own cards, BINs were repeated sometimes, creating problems for ATMs to recognise cards.
To deal with the problem, the State Bank ordered banks to co-ordinate BINs, with the central bank to provide a BIN for each bank. The new BINs include six figures, starting with 9704, with the latter two figures different from each bank.
About 30 banks have been issued new BINs and will also reissue their bank cards sometime before the end of June next year.
“The cost to reissue all debit cards on the market may reach 120 billion VND (6.4 million USD) or about 7,000-8,000 VND per card,” said a representative of Smartlink Card Services Joint Stock Co who asked to remain anonymous.
VP Bank deputy director Duong Thi Thuy said that standardising BINs was very necessary in Vietnam, renewing all cards at the same time would overload this system.
ABBank director of individual customers Dam The Thai said the bank had been reissueing cards with the correct BIN and that the number of outstanding cards using the old BIN was only 10,000.
ABBank would renew cards for free customers between now and the end of the year, he said.
Debit cards issued since 2008 have the correct BIN and about 1 million international cards, which have standardised BINs, will not need to be reissued.