The central bank is calling on local financial institutions to adopt EMV chip card standards, a linked payment identification number standard identified as “No9116”, and other security improvements at ATMs and POS (point-of-sale) terminals to be better prepared for regional integration via the Cambodian Shared Switch (CSS) and related payment systems.
National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) deputy governor Chea Serey made the remark at an event earlier this month.
To boost public confidence in regional payment systems and the integration process, the central bank has formulated and revised regulations on new payment services and solutions as well as their providers in line with national and international rules
and best practices, she said.
“The NBC has continued to offer new contactless options on the CSS, in response to the advancement of technology and to streamline payments,” she said, referring to a chip-and-card inter-bank payment system formally launched by the central bank on July 4, following a pilot run since October 2017.
The CSS enables money transfers and withdrawals through participating financial institutions and is seen as an initiative to align the Kingdom’s payment landscape with regional and global technological development.
Serey said balance inquiries, printing summary reports, quick-payment services, password changes and purchase reversals would also be possible.
“Moreover, the NBC has kept expanding its capacity to handle more management and supervisory duties to ensure that the payment system [CSS] functions properly, is secure, and is trusted by the general public,” she said.
Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA) chairman Sok Voeun assured The Post that the CMA has “consistently” placed digital technology development and adaptation as core priorities, in an effort to promote modernisation in the digital financial system as well as efficiency, convenience and security in the delivery of financial services.
“The association will continue to work more actively with the Royal Government on how best to guide the Cambodian society and economy through the digital transformation.
“Against the backdrop of the ‘new normal’, characterised by the increasingly rapid spread of new technologies, the NBC has updated the payment infrastructure and rolled out fintech solutions to improve security and efficiency for the perpetual stream of payments,” he said.
The NBC stated in its 2022 annual report that Cambodia’s formal “banking” system consisted of 59 commercial banks; nine specialised banks; five deposit-taking and 82 non-deposit-taking microfinance institutions (MFI); 224 rural credit institutions; 16 financial leasing companies.
There were also five third-party processors; 34 payment service providers; one credit information sharing service provider; six foreign bank representative offices; and 2,869 money exchange businesses.
According to the central bank, the banking system’s consumer loans, consumer deposits, and capital respectively finished 2022 at 226.7 trillion riel ($56.0 billion), 174.4 trillion riel, and 63.3 trillion riel, rising by 18.9 per cent, 9.2 per cent and 13.9 per cent from a year earlier.