Local publicly-listed Acleda Bank Plc has added support for KHQR code scanning for payments on its mobile app.

KHQR is a universal quick response (QR) code system created for retail payments in the Kingdom and cross-border payments within the ASEAN bloc, according to the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC).

Users of Acleda Mobile can now scan KHQR codes generated by merchants via Bakong or other supported apps – and vice versa – for transactions in KHR and USD, Acleda said on October 25.

The integration of KHQR provides users with safer, more efficient and convenient services, and confidence to conduct transactions across payment service providers and banking and financial institutions (FI) that have partnered with Bakong, it said.

Acleda president and group managing director In Channy told The Post on October 25 that KHQR is essential for all consumers and merchants, as well as FIs and their clients.

The NBC-initiated fintech product provides convenience and security, and removes unnecessary complications such as the need for merchants to display multiple QR codes to accept different payment schemes, he said.

He added that other FIs “have worked with Acleda Bank Plc to develop the most secure and convenient solution for clients of all banks and FIs”, enabling them to process KHQR code payments through Acleda’s mobile app.

“We’ve been looking forward to having such an important solution for many years already,” Channy said.

NBC assistant governor and director-general Chea Serey said technology development and competition in the financial sector provides opportunities for FIs to roll out tools and innovative payment services to the public.

However, a lack of interoperability across QR code-based payment solutions rendered them less effective and convenient for consumers, she said.

To remedy the issue in a matter consistent with the government’s financial development strategy, the NBC promulgated a prakas on KHQR code specification for payments, dated June 26, 2020, she added.

“The NBC congratulates Acleda Bank Plc for its all-out efforts to develop and launch the KHQR payment service, which is convenient for the customers making mutual payment of goods and services through the Bakong App, Acleda Mobile, and mobile apps of other banking and FIs.

“I hope that the launch of the KHQR code payment service will take part in promoting payment system innovation, push financial inclusivity, facilitate transactions across banking and FIs, reduce operating costs, and strengthen the safety of payment systems in Cambodia,” Serey said.

Channy went on to say that the move is “in line with the development of the digital economy of the Kingdom of Cambodia. KHQR is very important and unifies payment whereby the customers can choose.

“The choice is with the customers.”