The Credit Bureau of Cambodia (CBC) has made available a new digital application that for the first time allows Cambodian citizens to check their credit score, view credit reports and receive credit monitoring alerts. The mobile application, which can be downloaded via a smartphone, also has an integrated digital platform that promotes financial health checks, credit monitoring and financial literacy. Users’ credit scores which range from 100 to 1700 are derived from individual credit reports based on data from more than 160 financial institutions that are members of the CBC which report lending data regularly to the bureau as per the regulations on credit reporting.
The scores are a combination of length of credit history, credit commitment, payment history, adverse information and new credit applications. While credit reports have been previously accessible to individuals in addition to lenders. The CBC said the users will be given one free credit check per year and then will be either charged 20,000 riels ($5) per report or can subscribe to an annual or monthly subscription model.
Users will benefit by having a choice of levels of frequency by which they can monitor their credit. Common in the West for many years, Cambodians will soon understand its value. The app was created with the hope it will help Cambodians to maintain better financial health and good credit-managing habits, as well as preparing users for financial opportunities and credit exposure, heighten their potential negotiating power, while improving the accuracy of their credit information through online dispute-handling services.
The application will also provide a portal for educational materials and resources on financial literacy and updates from credit markets and emerging trends in the financial sector.
Speaking about the new digital application, Oeur Sothearoath, chief executive officer of CBC, said: “Providing Cambodians with accurate and real-time knowledge of their credit information is an important step toward maturing and strengthening the country’s financial sector.”
He added: “Our most recent quarterly report showed that mortgage loans alone jumped from 18 percent since the end of 2019 to $4.7 billion at the end of September this year. There is a need to make sure that, as more Cambodians achieve upward socioeconomic mobility and borrow more money to grow their asset portfolios, they are also given the tools to responsibly manage and pay back their loans. The CBC mobile app is about cultivating stable and sustainable growth through transparency.”
The National Bank of Cambodia has been insisting all players in the financial sector highlight the importance of financial literacy skills and encourage more people to take advantage of financial services.
Cambodia was ranked 135th out of more than 140 countries in the 2015 Global Financial Literacy survey conducted by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.
The survey is described as the most comprehensive measurement of financial literacy worldwide. In that survey, only 18 percent of Cambodia’s adult population was considered financially literate.