Inward remittances from abroad are soaring ahead of Tet, the Lunar New Year, early February.
They have tripled to US$150 million this month at money transfer agency Sacomrex, Le Nguyen Thanh Trung, its director, said.
State giant Vietcombank’s remittance department is bracing for a surge in the week before Tet, Pham Thuy Nga, a bank official, said.
Money remitted to Vietnam through the bank has risen sharply compared to last year following its establishment of an agent in California, the US, where a large number of ethnic Vietnamese live, she added.
Service providers said the inflow will shoot up later this week.
To cope with the rush, US-based money transfer firm Western Union has opened many 24-hour cash payment points in major cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Danang, and Nha Trang.
Remittances also come from countries and territories where many Vietnamese work – like Canada, Australia, Europe, Taiwan, Malaysia, and the UAE – money transfer companies said.
But since service providers in those places charge very high fees, Vietnamese companies have stepped in and are providing remittance services at a fifth of the price.
Vietnam received 8 billion in remittances in 2010
* In 2010 many Vietnamese money transfer companies reported inflows of over $1 billion. Vietcombank ($1.35 billion), Sacomrex ($1.3 billion), and Dong A Bank ($1.22 billion) topped the list.
* Total remittances to Vietnam were worth $8 billion last year, a 25.6 percent year-on-year rise.
* Vietnam, which has 4 million nationals living and working in more than 100 countries, ranks 16th in the list of countries receiving the most remittances, according to World Bank data.