PayPal in Vietnam

Submitted by tomo on October 5, 2012 - 4:11pm

Search for PayPal in Vietnam and you won't get many good results.

If you're American or from another Western country and just traveling to or working in Vietnam temporarily and you already have a PayPal account then heed this one warning: DO NOT access your PayPal account WITHOUT a VPN! (If you don't already have a VPN get one. Ref: StrongVPN) Doing so will flag your account (similar to what happens when you use your credit card overseas without warning your bank first) and your PayPal account will be limited to receiving money only until you "verify" it. This can be a PITA so just DON'T access PayPal using a Vietnamese IP address. You can Google "what's my IP" to make sure your traffic is being tunneled properly.

History: PayPal started as a service for eBay sellers who didn't have real businesses and therefore couldn't open merchant accounts to accept credit cards to accept payment from buyers, both as bank transfers as well as credit and debit cards. It was eventually bought by eBay due to the symbiotic nature of the two. For many years PayPal was not available to Vietnamese users. due to the high amount of fraud originating from Vietnam. Fraud is one of PayPal's biggest problems and they spend a considerable amount of resources trying to detect fraud, often resulting in suspended accounts of legitimate users. Many non-Americans can't use it which has resulted in services like Moneybookers or Liberty Reserve.

PayPal's absence from Vietnam left open an opportunity for Vietnamese PayPal clones like MobiVi, etc. The problem with these is that none are as versatile as PayPal and some only allow transferring money between users of the service who also use the same bank!

If you're Vietnamese or working in Vietnam and want to open a Vietnamese PayPal account it is now possible to do so and receive money. You simply need to open a debit/credit card account at one of these banks: Techcombank, ACB, Đông Á, Eximbank. Then you can connect it to a Vietnamese PayPal account. Remember that PayPal won't allow you to change your country once you open an account.

Final warning: Don't access your US PayPal account from a Vietnamese IP address. Always use a VPN like StrongVPN. I learned the hard way and ended up with a locked and useless PayPal account. Whether you should even use PayPal is another issue altogether.

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