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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The National Bank of Cambodia launches new clearing system

The National Bank of Cambodia launches new clearing system

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) officially launched the National Clearing System yesterday in an effort to build efficiency and to expand clearing and settlement service for inter-bank transfers, said the NBC’s director general.

A banker and an economist applauded the launch.

Ngoun Sokha, director general for the NBC, said the system will improve the country’s clearing and settlement system so that it is faster, as well as improve business transactions via an electronic system and reduce the use of large amounts of cash.

“Our target is to develop a system which reduces the use of cash in the economy,” she said.

“From now on, with the new system we can make transfers of large amounts of money quickly and safely,” she added.

“Previously, the clearing system was only used for cheques. But now, we have a new option which can also be used for debit and credit transfers via an electronic system within a day. This will also promote smoother inter-bank operations,” she said.

The NBC has spent many years developing the system with the support of the government and technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank, according to yesterday’s press release.

Ki-Sung Jang, CEO and president of Kookmin Bank Cambodia, said the NBC initiated the more advanced clearing system at the right time for the industry because Cambodia’s banking industry, particularly the volume of payments being made with cheques, is dramatically increasing, requiring more time and more manpower to settle the cheques.

“Having this new national clearing system is a symbolic and fundamental step for developing the full national payment system similar to other developed countries in the region,” said Jang. “It could make Cambodian customers enjoy advanced and fast payments services in the future. The economic activities will be sped up because of this electronic system,” he added.

Hiroshi Suzuki, CEO and chief economist for the Business Research Institute for Cambodia, also said smooth and speedy clearing is fundamental to efficiency in the banking sector. “The system introduced by NBC will provide a much more effective and efficient environment to the commercial banks in Cambodia,” he said.

“This kind of improvement is very important to establishing an efficient and healthy banking sector. Developing countries such as Cambodia have a good chance to introduce this kind of efficient hi-tech system more easily as they can learn from the experience in predecessor countries such as Japan,” he said.

The NBC’s data showed that at the end of June 2012, the Kingdom’s 32 commercial banks lended a total of $4.92 billion dollars, up from $3.75 billion at the end of June last year – a rise of 31.2 per cent.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at kunmakara.may@phnompenhpost.com

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