Six months since the central bank launched its FAST payment system, a new scheme to provide instant riel-denominated fund transfers between financial institutions and their clients, the bank recorded a total fund transfer of 10 billion riel ($2.5 million) as of end-2016.
The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) officially launched the Fast and Secure Transfer (FAST) payment system in July after a three-month trial phase that allowed financial intuitions to implement the necessary software.
The system, which aims to increase riel use and circulation, allows customers to transfer funds across banks and deposit-taking MFIs. The funds can be used in various ways such as to pay bills, send remittances, cover online payments or pay taxes.
While the NBC expects all banks and deposit-taking MFIs to join the FAST system, its annual report issued yesterday showed only 13 of the Kingdom’s 44 eligible financial institutions have adopted it.
“The FAST payment which was put in place in mid-2016 has received a noticeable support from participating financial institutions,” the report said. “[We] hope that there will be more growth in 2017 after the public and financial institutions better understand the benefits of the new system.”
According to the report, customers at seven banks – Acleda Bank, Cambodia Public Bank, Canadia Bank, ABA, BIDC, Phillip Bank, and Sathapana Bank – can use the FAST system. Six deposit-taking microfinance institutions (MDIs) have implemented the system, including AMK, VisionFund, Prasac, Amret, Kredit and Hattha Kaksekar.
In Channy, president and CEO of Acleda Bank, said the FAST payment system helps to reduce time and fees on transactions between banks and MDIs. He added that the successful use of the system will allow Cambodia to gradually shift from a cash-based economy to electronic payments as more financial institutions adopt online banking.
“I believe that more financial institutions will participate in the system this year and the amount of transfers will become larger,” he said.