Cambodia and Malaysia on August 11 officially launched cross-border payments through the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC) Bakong system with Maybank, enabling faster and more convenient real-time money transfer between the two countries.
Speaking at the launch, NBC technical director-general Chea Serey said the collaboration is a solid starting point between the two ASEAN nations in the development of financial technologies that make it easier for people to transfer money in a faster and more convenient manner.
“The collaboration is just a beginning and I am sure there will be more that we can do together – for instance, for now it is a one-way transfer, but we also work on both-way transfers where people from Malaysia can also send money from Bakong to their Maybank App to the local one in Malaysia.
“We also explore other QR code payments for tourists – now it’s remittance, but we can also explore the local currency. At the moment, it is limited to ringgit-to-US-dollar but … one of the main messages of Bakong is to make use of the local currency, making it easier for the people – more convenient.
“And ultimately, what we want to see is the direct conversion from ringgit to Khmer riel so there is so much more that we could explore and do together. But, always have in mind that whatever we are going to work on is for the benefit of the people and society, and for the country,” she said.
Maybank Cambodia CEO Mohd Hanif Suadi said the collaboration will be in response to the current development of the cross-border payment ecosystem and will address the challenges of Cambodian people working in Malaysia, who require a more convenient, affordable and faster way to send money back home.
“There are quite a number of Cambodians working in Malaysia and definitely they need to send back money to their hometowns and families. The question is: ‘How fast can they get it?’ Before, we had the Bakong – it took several days. I think with the collaboration with Bakong, we can address the issue,” Hanif said.
“I guess with the project Bakong, we can help and address the issue that we have currently. Of course, we are definitely interested to be part of this project, Bakong. By having the project, Bakong, I guess now, everyone can transfer their money and send back the money to their hometown instantly and conveniently.
“That’s the financial inclusion that’s providing accessibility to everyone, to communities that we serve although they are living in the rural areas,” he added.
NBC on October 27 launched an inter-bank mobile payment platform, known as the “Bakong System”, aiming to give a powerful impetus to rural financial sector development and nurturing financial inclusivity in the Kingdom.
Bakong enables interoperability between banks and financial institutions that is safe and cost-effective.
Malaysian ambassador to Cambodia Eldeen Husiani Mohd Hashim said the collaboration will facilitate and expedite the transfer of funds between citizens of Malaysia and Cambodia.
“The partnership between Maybank Cambodia and the National Bank of Cambodia highlights the excellent cooperation between the banking and financial sectors of Malaysia and Cambodia.
“This collaboration help bridge the gap and connect all the dots towards strengthening our bilateral ties and marks another important milestone in our 64-year relationship which encompasses political, economic and defence, education and cultural ties,” he added.