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Mobitel gets NBC reprieve

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Mobitel gets NBC reprieve

MOBITEL’S Cellcard Cash programme has been given until February to fully comply with National Bank of Cambodia regulations, according to Central Bank Director General Tal Nay Im.

The money transfer service – which is run by Cambodia’s largest mobile phone provider– has until early next year to apply for a licence and formally partner with a bank, she said.

“We have given them some time,” she said yesterday.

Cellcard Cash was launched in September without oversight from the National Bank of Cambodia.

The bank issued a prakas or edict on August 17 requiring third-party processors to comply with its rules.

Several company officials could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Operations Manager Kay Lot has previously told The Post that Mobitel did not consider the programme banking.

The programme had been launched with a grant from the GSM Association’s US$5 million Mobile Money for the Unbanked program, which is largely funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Last month, the MMUprogram confirmed that it had suspend all grants payments to Mobitel, but added that Mobitel was working with the NBC to develop the appropriate regulatory framework and secure a formal licence in a statement.

“To this end, the two parties have agreed to suspend the payment of further grant monies until the GSMA MMU Fund Panel is satisfied that [Mobitel] has secured all necessary regulatory approvals,” it said in a statement.

“GSMA encourages dialogue between mobile money providers and regulators, however regulation is a matter for the government in each country in which such services are developed,” the statement said.

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