The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and the National Payments Corporation of India’s International Payments Limited (NIPL) will work together to examine the feasibility of launching instant remittances between the two countries. The results of the cooperation are expected to provide important input for cross-border payments and remittances.

The announcement of the study followed the April 17 signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation on online cross-border payments and remittances. The MoU was signed by NBC deputy governor Chea Serey and NIPL CEO Ritesh Shukla.

According to an NBC press release, the MoU aims to establish a collaborative framework that will enable both parties to develop digital connectivity and interoperability to support cross-border payment and remittance between the two nations.

“The MOU will eventually allow citizens of both countries to safely and conveniently utilise formal channels for money transfers, at an affordable cost,” it said.

“This connectivity is expected to be a major breakthrough that will support the development of economic and financial relations and contribute to stimulating economic, tourism, and trade development for both countries in the future,” it added.

In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA Bank Plc, said that increased cooperation between the NBC and NIPL is a good news for the financial and banking sector in Cambodia.

“I think it will be very good for businesses, as well as tourists of both countries. It will help keep the cost of real-time cross-border payments low. Moreover, it will increase both the volume and the cost of transactions and of course it will boost the economies of both countries, and others that are payment channels,” he added.

Kaing Tongngy, head of the Cambodia Microfinance Association’s (CMA) communications department, said it is the people of the two countries that would benefit the most from the agreement.

Tongngy said the fact that the NBC is studying the possibility of expanding its operations to other countries is a huge positive for the Cambodian people.

“Cambodians who travel as tourists or for business will benefit, as payments will be smooth,” he said.

“We already have similar systems in place with Vietnam and Thailand, so adding payment connectivity with India will be of similar benefit. When Indians come to visit or do business in Cambodia, it will be very convenient for them to make or receive payments,” he added.

Tongngy said that in addition to improved financial services, the cooperation that the MoU encourages would allow the Kingdom to learn from India, a country which is renowned for the strength of its information technology.