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Digital banking championed

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
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The Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC), the Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA) and the Cambodian Association of Finance and Technology (CAFT) have issued a statement strongly encouraging their customers, the public and business owners to both settle accounts and accept payments electronically via digital platforms.

The call came in light of the recent community outbreak of COVID-19 and an announcement by the Ministry of Health regarding the possibility of virus contamination through the handling of banknotes.

“Our banking community and financial sector [BFIs] have worked, and will continue to work, closely with the National Bank of Cambodia to make cross-institution transactions more convenient, less costly and safe during this period. Further announcements on such measures will be made shortly,” said the Ministry’s statement.

In the meantime, BFIs are also encouraging the public to download and use digital banking and payment platforms made available by their community members.

“From the day of this announcement onward, information on different options and usage instruction will be available on social media and popular news outlets in the country”, said ABC’s General Manager Heng Koy.

Koy said that to boost digital payments and transactions, banks and financial institutions are working with the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) to provide convenient mechanisms for customers concerned about secured transfers and transactions, risk prevention and have reduced some restrictions on depositing money into mobile accounts.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the government, the Ministry of Health, and the National Bank of Cambodia for all their support during this hard time,” Koy added.

Kaing Tongngy, head of CMA’s communications department, said that a lot of effort by CMA members has resulted in measures to help in the fight against COVID-19. He added that MFIs use of digital platforms, as well as that by other financial institutions, is very important to the reduction of risk in the spread of the virus.

“CMA also would like to encourage all its members, including MFIs, banks, financial leasing companies and rural credit operators to help and work with their clients more closely towards utilising digital banking services,” said Tongngy.

Cambodia has seen recent and rapid growth in digital and electronic payment services, with digital platforms regarded as key to promoting the Kingdom’s financial inclusion, according to the NBC. It added that digital payment is one of the most effective measures in ensuring a cashless society where transactions are accessible and affordable to every citizen.

Speaking at the Asia 21 Global Summit 2020’s “Cambodia Outlook Post COVID-19” forum, on Monday, Chea Serey, director-general of the NBC, said digital payments have been on the increase in Cambodia. She added according to the Ministry of Health’s statement the possibility of virus contamination through the handling of banknotes is relatively high.

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