Cambodia’s Central Bank Plans to Cut Cross-Border Payment Costs Using Digital Wallet Systems

Cambodia’s central bank is currently testing different ways to cut down the costs of its cross-border payments. As a result, the central banking institution - National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) - is currently testing an in-house digital wallet dubbed as the Hyperledger Iroha-powered Bakong.

Last week, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) signed an agreement with the Malaysian bank Maybank to see how the two bank’s respective digital platforms - Bakong and Maybank2u - work effectively and seamlessly to reduce remittance fees.

The two Southeast Asian nations have been actively working on this project for some time. Speaking to the Khmer Times, Cambodia’s chief central banker H.E. Chea Serey said that the remittance fees currently are as high as 30%.

With the partnership between these two banks, the scenario will change by using the respective bank’s digital platforms. Serey said: “The introduction of Bakong system will provide more possibilities in enhancing payment system at both domestic and regional level and the MOU signed today will enable both institutions to reach another level of financial co-operation in further leveraging the technology to benefit the people in Cambodia and Malaysia”.

Established in July this year, the Baking digital payments platform currently accepts users from eight different Cambodian banks. One of its partners also includes Cambodia’s largest commercial bank ACLEDA Banks, which has been holding over $5 billion in assets as of last year.

Now, it partnership with Malaysia’s Maybank2u could bring a much wider audience. currently, Maybank is the Malaysia’s largest bank with over 52% of its banking transactions going through the Maybank2u.

CEO of Maybank Cambodia, Dato’ Mohd Hanif Saudi said: “We aspire to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers by continually transforming ourselves through digital innovations to serve in a fast hassle-free and secure manner. With this collaboration, we strive to enhance our offerings by providing relevant end-to-end solutions to a wider customer base via differentiated digital proposition whilst contributing to the growth of the banking system in Cambodia”.