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Central bank links up for Thai pay system

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The head office of the National Bank of Cambodia in Phnom Penh.

Central bank links up for Thai pay system

The Kingdom’s central bank unveiled plans on Wednesday to collaborate with its counterpart in neighbouring Thailand to launch a QR code payment system, a bank official said.

The system, which would allow people from either country to rapidly send funds to one another, is aimed at those who travel often for business or tourism.

An announcement from the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) said it would let users bypass the need to use costly exchanges to turn Cambodian riel into Thai baht, or vice versa.

The systems will also allow Cambodian workers in Thailand to transfer money to their families at home.

The NBC’s director-general of central banking, Chea Serey, said the initiative will receive support from financial institutions in both countries and that leaders would meet up later this year to define rules and procedures.

She said the system was set to go public next year.

“This is another effort to promote the use of riel. [It] will allow Cambodians to use their own currency abroad and will prove to the public that it is internationally recognised,” she said.

The system will only work for users whose bank accounts utilise Cambodian riel, and aims to be a catalyst to boost riel usage.

Cambodian imports accounted for $15.5 billion in total last year, in which the imports from Thailand was 16.5 per cent of total imports. It is second only to China, whose products account for 41.7 per cent of imports to the country.

In September of last year, the NBC signed an agreement with the People’s Bank of China in Guangxi to set up an official yuan-riel exchange rate, allowing businesses to conduct settlements without having to use the US dollar.

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