Cambodian Public Bank: The Way Forward

Poovenraj Kanagaraj / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

“The journey has been, in many respects, very challenging but very rewarding as well,” says Datuk Phan Ying Tong, Public Bank Indo-China Operations regional head.

The Malaysian-owned Cambodian Public Bank Plc, or commonly referred to as Campu Bank in Cambodia, was the second foreign bank to have established a presence in the Kingdom of Wonder. It was also the pioneer Malaysian bank to have stepped foot in the country.

Datuk Phan highlights the rewarding journey it has been since the prominent Malaysian bank commenced its commercial banking business in Cambodia on May 25, 1992. Since then, the bank has seen rapid expansion over the years and currently has 31 branches throughout Cambodia, with 18 of those branches situated in the capital. The bank, already a prominent name back in Malaysia, has also made a name for itself in Cambodia, achieving a standard of recognition among its customers here. Often affiliated with strong corporate culture governance and ethics, the bank has garnered a mass of loyal customers who have grown together as partners. Campu Bank’s efforts to excel in the financial industry are reflected through the confidence and trust the Royal Government has in the bank. The bank’s recent signing of the Memorandum of Under-standing with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport as the first commercial bank to provide collection of public service fee in addition to the existing collection of vehicle, property
and business tax on behalf of the General Department of Taxation under the Ministry of Economy & Finance is further testimony of its good partnership with the governmental institutions and initiative to modernize the payment system to provide hassle free experience to the general public. It is also part of the bank’s effort to encourage the use of Khmer Riel which is also to support the National Bank of Cambodia’s sound national agenda.

Over the years, the bank has been actively providing guidance to new investors who are keen to invest in the Cambodian landscape. Campu Bank, under the astute and strong leadership of Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow, Chairman Emeritus of Public Bank eventually saw a wave of investors entering the country, including a number of them coming to the bank through proper reference.

“Many customers have since grown to become large conglomerates,” says Datuk Phan, taking pride in the bank’s sound infra-structure as an efficient stepping stone to successful ventures.

Datuk Phan also attributes the bank’s success with customers to their excellent and efficient customer service. The bank has constantly placed much emphasis towards raising the standards in terms of providing the best-in-class customer service and has done so through a number of customer care campaigns. One of the key initiatives carried out by Campu Bank was the launch of Customer Care Campaign Phase 3, with the theme, “Doing It Right For You” and sub-tagline “Our Service Commitment Continues”, which ran throughout all their branches in early 2018.

“The three-month campaign was aimed at cultivating as well as reinforcing the desired attitude in customer service delivery by front-line staff as well as seeking customer’s perception of service quality levels rendered,” Datuk Phan recalls.Customer Service Group is formed at all branches to engage staff to provide creative ideas as to how to improve work processes and elevate service delivery. In 2018, 86 percent of the front line customers were served within the five-minute standard waiting time.

“My Neighbour, My Customer”

One of the bank’s campaigns, “My Neighbour, My Customer” was expanded in early 2019 to a wider coverage. It had proven to be successful under phase 1 and the bank had felt it was appropriate to extend the campaign to a new level by extending the door-to-door financial inclusion and marketing activities to cover a wider area. This initiative involved branch staff conducting site-visits around the neighbourhood, aimed at educating the neighbours on the importance of using the banking facilities to improve their daily business and financials.

Entering the Fintech space

“The approach we are taking is that we are very much into it, but at the same time, we don’t want to expose ourselves to digital or cybercrime as we are very much risk averse,” says the regional head. Datuk Phan goes on to say that the bank is constantly on the look-out to reimagine banking by leveraging on digital technology and innovation as well as design experiences that will make banking simpler and more seamless. He also expresses the need for the bank to be cautious as they would not want to expose their customers to risks, adding that the bank is always involved in undertaking proper research and comprehensive studies before deciding on rolling out new products and services. “The Way Forward”, aptly reflects the bank’s forward looking and pro-activeness in responding to digital banking and finding new ways to share value with cus-tomers, who are increasingly becoming technologically savvy.

The bank is also on track to participate in the Central Shared Switch system initiated by the National Bank of Cambodia, as currently staff of five pioneer participating banks and micro-finance institutions are able to perform basic ATM functions at Campu Bank’s ATMs under Phase 1.

Campu Bank has always paved the path to improving the banking sector in Cambodia. Their long-withstanding relationship with the government was a result of the bank’s successful efforts to instill confidence in investors looking into Cambodia. With a decorated portfolio and a range of deserving international and leadership awards, namely “The Best Domestic Bank” and “Best Bank for SMEs” by Euro-money and “Best Bank in Cambodia” by the London-based prestigious publisher, The Banker, Campu Bank still has more to give as it would soon be launching more robust mobile banking and internet banking features to meet discerning demands of cus-tomers for more seamless banking services. Campu Bank is paving the way forward for the Kingdom’s banking sector.

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