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NBC selects three banks for pilot QR code system

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NBC director-general Chea Serey speaking during the launch of the ‘QR Code Settlement between Cambodia and Thailand’ project on Monday. Hin Pisei

NBC selects three banks for pilot QR code system

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has selected three of the Kingdom’s banks to implement a Cambodian-Thai QR code-based payment system, which could begin late this year, the NBC said.

The three banks are Acleda Bank, Foreign Trade Bank of Cambodia (FTB) and Cambodian Commercial Bank Ltd.

Speaking during the launch of the ‘QR Code Settlement between Cambodia and Thailand’ project on Monday, NBC director-general Chea Serey said this is an evolution of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which the central bank previously signed with its Thai counterpart.

She said using QR codes would be beneficial for Cambodia – helping to boost the use of the local currency and avoiding foreign-exchange risks.

“We want Cambodians travelling to Thailand and Thais travelling to Cambodia to be able to make payments without having to use cash,” she said.

In February, the NBC signed an MoU with the Bank of Thailand on “Cooperation in financial innovation and payment systems”, aiming to expand cooperation in finance technology and payment services to promote efficiency, the safety of cross-border payment transactions and national currency use.

Serey said if any other financial institution sought to implement the service, it must contact any of the above three banks.

The NBC is currently exploring how to expand the system to neighbouring countries such as Vietnam and Laos, she said.

Payments via QR codes would strengthen confidence and convenience for Cambodian customers travelling to Thailand, said Chhoeng Vanna, vice-president and head of the Project Management Office at Acleda Bank, which is currently in contact with four banks in Thailand to facilitate payments through QR codes.

FTB general manager Dith Sochal said the cross-border scanning method of payment will be part of the modernisation of Cambodia’s electronic payment and will boost the use of the local currency in the national economic streams.

“The reduction of foreign currencies through the use of the riel will help hasten Cambodia’s economic growth and make it more robust. We hope this project will be fully supported by all financial institutions in Cambodia,” he said.

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