The National Bank of Cambodia yesterday announced that two local and one Thai bank have joined the QR code-based payment system that the central bank is developing with Thailand.
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Chea Serey, NBC’s general director, told reporters yesterday that Foreign Trade Bank of Cambodia (FTB), Acleda Bank, and Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) will become “sponsoring banks” in the scheme.
In February, the central banks of Cambodia and Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create a payment system based on QR codes. The aim of the upcoming payment system is to facilitate cross-border exchanges in local currencies, according to representatives of the central banks.
Ms Serey said that banks that wish to provide the new payment service will have to work with one of the sponsoring banks.
“Since the MoU was signed, a lot has been accomplished and we are now working on the integration system,” she said, adding that she expects to launch the system by the end of the year.
“This electronic system will make payments more convenient for tourists and firms while also strengthening the local currency of both countries,” she said.
There has been a notable increase in electronic payments in the country, and they significantly contribute to the country’s development, Ms Serey pointed out.
“In the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, promoting electronic payments through QR codes is vital for payment settlement and promoting financial inclusion,” she said.
According to NBC, the QR payment system will allow Cambodians tourists to purchase goods and pay for medical treatment in Thailand in their own currency, the riel. It will also allow Cambodian migrant workers to send remittances in riel.
“This is another effort by the Central Bank to promote the use of the local currency, as well as to increase recognition of the riel abroad,” she emphasised.
Dith Sochal, FTB general manager, said the system will increase trade between the two countries by facilitating payments. It will also promote the use of the riel in foreign markets, which he says is critical to help the country’s economy grow.
Chhoeng Vanna, a senior officer at Acleda Bank, said the upcoming system will increase the flow of tourists between the two countries.
“We are now holding discussions with four banks in Thailand to join the system. The system will allow tourists to pay in their own currency,” he said.