Central bank pushes electronic payment options

Sok Chan / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The NBC wants to integrate all ATMs to allow customers to withdraw cash and make payments via all banks. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The National Bank of Cambodia is pushing financial institutions to continue developing mobile banking, internet banking and other instruments to promote the use of electronic payments, such as the FAST system.

NBC governor Chea Chanto said modernised payment systems are needed to make transactions more secure, quick and cost efficient, as well as to help develop the economy and provide convenience to the public.

He said the recent launch of the FAST (fast and secure transfer) payment system was a success, so the bank plans to unveil its Cambodian Shared Switch (CSS) programme later this year.

This will integrate all ATMs and point of sale machines from different commercial banks and microfinance institutes, allowing customers to withdraw cash and make payments via all banks across the country.

Mr Chanto said the bank is also developing a Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system.

“Through the expansion of financial services, financial inclusion has increased and 55 percent of Cambodian young adults are currently using financial services,” Mr Chanto said.

“The number of depositors in financial institutions has reached 4.8 million, up 11 percent, while there were about 2.6 million borrowers in the first six months of the year.”

According to the NBC’s latest report, there were 732,870 money transfers via bank services such as SWIFT, Western Union, MoneyGram and International Money Express in the first half this year, accounting for about $18 billion.

There were also more than 16.5 million transactions via banking payment instruments such as debit cards, credit cards, ATMs, prepaid cards, and e-commerce, accounting for $2.88 billion.

For mobile banking and internet banking, there were 1.75 million transactions, accounting for $2.52 billion during the same period.

A further 44.1 million transactions were made at mobile payment services such as Wing, True Money, E-Money, Ly Hour Pay Pro, Smartluy, Pay GO Cash, Asia Cash Express, and PiPay, accounting for $7.33 billion.

Ouk Sarath, director of payment systems at the National Bank of Cambodia, said payment systems are key parts of financial infrastructure and play a crucial role in boosting economic development.

Mr Sarath added that 15 financial institutions have now launched FAST payment systems for consumers.

“There are some challenges with implementation because the gate for the FAST Payment System is only done via banking counters. The next step is to expand the gate and offer services through mobile and internet banking,” he said.

“All in all, the development of the FAST system is a step to modernise retail payment in Cambodia and offer choices to consumers. It will boost electronic payment options in the private and public sector, as well as improving financial inclusion and economic growth.”

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