Bills – we all have them – however, when you arrive in Vietnam you may be unsure how to go about paying bills, such as your electricity or water bill. This article will guide you through the process and ensure that you never have to go through the experience of returning home to find your water or electricity has been cut off!
Paying bills online in Vietnam
Although you can go to various places – the water board / the electricity office etc. in person, it is much more convenient and easier to simply pay online. The water and electricity bills will all be in the property owner’s name – so some owners find it easier to pay the bills and then add it to the monthly rent. However, many owners will instead give the people renting the property responsibility for paying the bills.
If you are responsible for paying the utility bills then the easiest way is paying bills online. Although you can pay at various places in the towns e.g. at the convenience stores Circle K etc. the easiest method is through your bank.
When trying to pay your utility bills via your bank account, it is vital to note that you can only do this from a Vietnamese Dong account – not from a US dollar account. To pay a bill, simply log into your Vietnamese Dong bank account and press the area to make a payment. A section will come to ask you if you want to pay a bill – (entitled “Pay a biller “ ) so press that section and the following (or similar – different banks have slightly different formats however the information will all be the same)
Steps to pay bills online in Vietnam
Firstly, you need to choose the service that you wish to pay for. There is a choice of the internet – so you pay your internet subscription with this option. In relation to phones, there are options for a landline or mobile phone, as well as a mobile prepaid card and a mobile top-up. In relation to utilities, there is electricity and water.
Once you have chosen the service then you need to register the biller name – this is the area in which you live, so the choice will be the capital city – Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City ( HCMC ) – the major city in the South of the country or the areas – North / South or Central.
Once you have filled in this information, it will ask for your ID number. This is the number on your bill – for utilities that are under your property owner’s name, you will need to ask for the number so that this section can be completed.
Once your account has been opened, then you will be able to clearly see the balance and from there you can start paying bills as usual. It is important to note that bills are only visible after a certain date – I only pay for the electricity online and have found the bill only to be visible after about the 15th of the month- although it does not seem to be precisely consistent – but at least around that date.
If the new bill has not come in yet then you will be informed of this will a result similar to this:
Other things to know about paying bills
- The electricity bill MUST be paid by the end of the month – if not, then they will not send warnings etc. but instead simply turn up at your front door to cut you off! The good news is that when they are standing there, it is possible to rush to your phone or computer and pay the bill immediately. Once this is done they will simply go away and they do not charge a fee for the late payment or the time/ expense of them coming to your door to cut you off!
- It is just a popular thing for people to tap into other people’s electricity line so do make that you keep an eye on the total – although the summer months bill will inevitably be higher as you will be using the air conditioning or fans, if you find it exorbitant then it is possible that your line has been tapped into. If this happens, then let your landlord know and they will be able to come round and take a look to see if they can see any stray wires and turn off the power in your house and look at the meter to see if it is still moving despite your power being off!
Overall, paying bills is simple and straightforward – although it is essential to have your account number to make any transactions and it is VITAL to remember to check the balance and pay on time as the process of coming to disconnect you is swift!