Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NBC eyes KHQR payments in Laos, Vietnam

NBC eyes KHQR payments in Laos, Vietnam

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
NBC assistant governor Chea Serey speaks at the inauguration ceremony for the KHQR code system on July 4. SUPPLIED

NBC eyes KHQR payments in Laos, Vietnam

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is working with Lao and Vietnamese authorities to expand the use of KHQR code cross-border payment systems to promote trade and investment as well as increase the scope of regional economic linkages, and in particular, facilitate remittances from overseas workers.

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 central bank.

Electronic payment solutions continue to be developed and modernised in line with growing demand and the burgeoning financial technology (fintech) market, to improve the effectiveness and affordability of transactions and ensure safety and security, the NBC noted in its first-half report released on July 26.

NBC projects such as the Electronic Clearing System (ECS), Quick Payment System, and Cambodian Shared Switch are being updated to add some essential functions, the report said, adding that work is underway on the Bakong system to facilitate large transactions between banks.

Electronic payment transactions have continued to rise, with fund transfers made through retail pay systems in the local currency over the first half nearly doubling on a yearly basis, it said, adding that 8.1 million transactions have been made through Bakong since its inception, worth 18.5 trillion riel ($4.5 billion).

Speaking at the opening of the annual conference on July 26, NBC governor Chea Chanto said that the Covid-19 crisis has significantly changed the behaviours of producers, sellers and consumers when it comes to business, shifting them towards a heavier reliance on online platforms for purchases and sales, which can be made from anywhere in the world.

Accordingly, the Cambodian payment landscape is constantly being developed and modernised based on the development of new financial technologies that promote interoperability and cross-border connectivity, he said.

Chanto recapped that the Cambodian payment system has been linked to Thailand and Malaysia, with Laos and Vietnam expected to join, in a bid to support bilateral trade, investment and tourism, as well as remittances from overseas Cambodian workers.

ACLEDA Bank Plc president and group managing director In Channy welcomed the expansion of KHQR across the region and further afield, saying that this reflects the NBC’s fintech development efforts towards financial inclusion.

“I’m glad to hear this important news, and ACLEDA Bank will be happy to participate in KHQR service to Lao PDR and Vietnam since we have had good experiences in Thailand,” he said.

Although outbound transactions to Thailand “work fine”, inbound service will be launched “late this year”, Channy said citing NBC assistant governor Chea Serey.

The NBC officially launched the KHQR system early in June, following a pilot run, to facilitate cross-bank payments and encouraged businesses and consumers to take advantage of this achievement to drive fintech innovation in banking and finance.

According to an NBC report, all 37 Bakong member banking and financial institutions participated in the development of KHQR. Of those, 29 successfully launched a trial run for the KHQR payment for goods with 230,000 merchant stores across the country.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’