In a digital leap forward, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and one of Cambodia’s leading commercial banks, Canadia Bank, are in discussion to develop a new generation of NSSF cards.

The talks were led by Heng Sophannarith, deputy director-general of the NSSF, with Canadia Bank's Executive Vice President Charles Vann.

With 64 branches across the country, the bank’s commitment to these talks signals a major boost to Cambodia’s digital economy, while the NSSF, seeks to enhance efficiency and transparency in the social security scheme sector.

“The new generation of NSSF cards would be more efficient, transparent, accountable and sustainable,” stated Sophannarith, hailing the benefits of the new card system.

He believes that these improvements will contribute to a stronger, safer and more stable digital economy.

The Executive Vice President said the new cards, embedded with chips, would bolster operational safety standards. They can be used for healthcare payments, occupational risks, pension funds and other allowances.

“It’s a plastic card, easily applied for via the Canadia Bank mobile app, among other benefits”.

However, the new card’s practicality for the majority of its users, who are garment workers with limited knowledge of digital technology, remains a concern.

Kong Atith, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, emphasised the need for ease of use.

“The modernisation of this card is beneficial. However, it is crucial that the card is not complex to use. If the NSSF can standardise this card like a bank card with QR scanning, it would be ideal,” he said.

Atith further suggested the use of educational videos or mentors to guide workers.

“If there’s a QR scan like a bank card, it would be good for the users. But we must be careful in the design and provide proper guidance, considering some members of the NSSF may find it challenging to use,” he commented.

As the digital revolution takes hold, Cambodia is embracing the push for modernisation. The NSSF reiterated that the new generation of cards aligns with the government’s drive towards a digital economy.

This forward-thinking approach looks to create a blend of efficiency, safety and accessibility in the country’s financial system.