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Banks urged to focus on digital innovation

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Chea Chanto, governor of the National Bank of Cambodia. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Bankers in Southeast Asia have been urged to focus on digital innovation to improve their operations.

The bankers were encouraged to adopt the latest technology in the industry at the Asean Banking Conference, held yesterday in Phnom Penh.

The three-day event, which focused on the digital transformation of banking and financial services in Asean, was attended by top professionals from across the region. It started on Sunday and will finish today.

It is being held under the theme “Asean Connectivity 2025: A Brave New World of Digital Innovation For One Asean Banking Sector.”

Chea Chanto, governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, said the conference was the perfect opportunity to exchange experiences and information with experts from other Asean member countries and encourage banks to adopt the latest technology available in the sector.

“Developments in technology have significantly contributed to expand and strengthen the banking sector in Cambodia as well as in the Asean region,” Mr Chanto said.

“Along these lines, banks and financial institutions have increased the use of technology and invented new financial products and services to offer more convenience to customers by reducing costs and time. These innovations support the growth of economic activities as well as financial inclusion,” he said.

In Channy, chairman of the Association of Banks in Cambodia and president and group managing director of Acleda Bank, said the event allows Cambodian banks to learn from their counterparts across Asean. This knowledge will create more opportunities in the local financial sector and provide a better service to Cambodian customers, he said.

“As with other banking associations in the region, the role of the Association of Banks in Cambodia is to cooperate with the National Bank of Cambodia to promote innovation and the development of an efficient and transparent payment system infrastructure to facilitate economic growth and regional integration,” Mr Channy pointed out.

“Indeed, the phenomenal progress we have seen in the banking sector in Cambodia over the last few years, with financial infrastructure being developed and modernised – especially through electronic payments for optimising payment transactions – will ensure formal financial services are available to all the people of Cambodia anytime, anywhere,” Mr Channy said.

Raymond Sia, Canadia Bank CEO, said banking technology in Cambodia will be vastly improved as a result of the event.

“It is an amazing conference; a showcasing of what Cambodia’s banking is all about and how it has evolved over many decades. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our achievements to the rest of Asean,” Mr Sia said.

Phoukhong Chanthachack, chairman of the Asean Bankers Associations, also highlighted the importance of digital innovation. “Digital innovation is a very critical part of the five pillars in the Asean Connectivity 2025 Master Plan. Our vision is to achieve a seamlessly and comprehensively connected and integrated Asean,” Mr Chanthachak said.

Phoukhong Chanthachack, chairman of the Asean Bankers Associations. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The conference was hosted by the Association of Banks in Cambodia and the Asean Bankers Association.

Panel discussions on digitalisation, fintech, cybersecurity, blockchain and digital transformation were also held.

The Association of Banks in Cambodia has 65 members: 44 commercial banks, 17 specialized banks and four representative offices and one microfinance association.

It is the first time Cambodia hosts the Asean Banking Conference, which is held every two years in a different Asean nation.

The 49th Asean Banking Council Meeting will be held today.

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