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Speed Pay has plans for cash in a digital age

A bank customer receives cash from an ATM in Phnom Penh.
A bank customer receives cash from an ATM in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

Speed Pay has plans for cash in a digital age

Speed Pay Plc, a newly licensed electronic payments service provider (PSP), is gearing up to join the ranks of mobile platforms tapping into Cambodia’s nascent digital payment sector.

While not yet operational, the company held a launch ceremony on Friday to announce its licensing under a recently overhauled set of laws that put in place new minimum capital requirements for PSPs.

“We inaugurated the company now because we want to prove that we are really a licensed company that complies with the law,” said company Chairman Lim Sambat, who declined to provide details on the firm’s operations citing confidentiality. He also declined to give a timeframe for when the Speed Pay would be available to the public.

“The market is a bit crowded right now, but we still see opportunities and will have a clear strategy once we enter the market,” he said.

Chea Serey, director-general of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), said during the company’s inauguration that the central bank had provided Speed Pay with a licence to operate in March, with the Bank for Investment and Development of Cambodia Plc (BIDC) acting as a guarantor.

With smartphones more common than bank accounts in Cambodia, the NBC is hoping digital payment platforms can increase financial inclusion and reduce reliance on cash.

Serey noted that while digital solutions for the banking and microfinance sector had improved over the last decade, the reach of PSPs was still fairly limited to urban centres in Cambodia.

“In order to boost financial inclusion, the NBC will provide more licences to payment services providers to allow these financial services to reach rural Cambodians, or those who do not have access to traditional financial services,” she said.

In June, the central bank strengthened regulations for PSPs, requiring all firms to have at least $2 million in registered capital with 5 percent of that deposited with the NBC.

Additionally, PSP licences are now only valid for six years with an annual licensing fee of $5,000.

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