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Fintech key amid adoption wave

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Consumers are now more willing than ever to adopt next-generation technologies and perform transactions at the time and place of their own choosing. SUPPLIED

Fintech key amid adoption wave

The growth of digital products in the financial sector has become more important than ever as customers are more willing to adopt next-generation technologies and perform transactions at the time and place of their own choosing, industry players have said.

This was the general view expressed at the opening of the November 8-12 Cam-Tech summit, which aims to inclusively showcase the full range and increasing sophistication of the Kingdom’s emerging and accelerating financial technology (fintech) and non-financial technology landscape.

The event was organised by the Cambodia Association of Finance and Technology, in cooperation with the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), Association of Banks in Cambodi​a (ABC) and Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA), in line with 11 partners for the World FinTech Festival, which takes place on November 11-12.

Speaking at the event’s opening ceremony, CMA chairman Kea Borann said financial institutions have introduced a wide range of digital products to the market over the last few years.

As examples, he listed mobile banking app, digital wallets, robotic advisory systems, digital loan applications and requests, credit scoring, online payments, and self-service kiosks.

These have allowed financial institutions to reach out to more people, which contributes to the achievement of the 2019-2025 national financial inclusion goals, he said, adding that the number of savings accounts has surged to about nine million as of 2020.

“As digital products and technology adoption grow, knowledge about cyber security, as well as digital and financial literacy will become even more important for consumers, to help them understand the risks and benefits, so that they can be better protected,” Borann said.

Improvements in infrastructure, cloud computing, data privacy, consumer protection, digital ID and e-KYC are crucial to support the future growth of digital products.

ABC Payments Committee treasurer and chairman Baek Jong-il noted that the NBC in October 2020 launched the inter-bank mobile payment platform, known as the “Bakong System”, as part of broader efforts to promote digital adoption and transformation in banking and finance.

He said the platform has given a powerful impetus to rural financial sector development and the financial inclusion process in the Kingdom.

ABC regards the adoption of digital and technology solutions for banking and finance “as one of the core objectives, as we aim to promote the continuous modernisation of the Cambodian banking system by organising, managing and participating in all inter-bank activities”, Baek said.

The NBC reported that the number of digital transactions across the Kingdom jumped 350 per cent from end-2019 to the end of 2020, and total value rose 200 per cent to $68 billion.

Transactions through Bakong have also grown rapidly with about 1.5 million in the ecosystem with a value of about $500 million, NBC director-general Chea Serey told CNN in August.

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