Cambodia's Central Bank Testing Digital Wallet to Ease Cross-Border Payments

Cambodia’s Central Bank wants to slash the cost of cross-border payments and is studying how its Bakong digital wallet might help.

AccessTimeIconOct 18, 2019 at 5:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:35 a.m. UTC

Cambodia’s Central Bank wants to slash the cost of cross-border payments and is studying how its in-house digital wallet, the Hyperledger Iroha-powered Bakong, might get the job done.

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) signed an agreement last week with Malaysia’s Maybank to determine how the banks’ respective digital payment platforms - Bakong and Maybank2u - can work in tandem to reduce often crippling remittance fees.

Any breakthrough would be welcome for residents of the two Southeast Asian nations. Though separated only by the Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia’s chief central banker H.E. Chea Serey told the Khmer Times that remittance fees can range as high as 30%.

That can change with the new partnership, Chea Serey said in the new announcement.

“The introduction of Bakong system will provide more possibilities in enhancing payment system at both domestic and regional level”

Bakong launched in July and now accepts users from eight separate Cambodian banks, including ACLEDA Bank - the country’s largest commercial bank with over $5 billion in assets last year.

Bakong’s potential linking with Maybank2u could tap into a much wider audience. A spokesperson for Maybank, the country's largest bank, said that 52% of all Malaysian online banking transactions went through Maybank2u.

“We look forward to providing our customers in Malaysia and Cambodia with a convenient yet cost effective solution for inter-country funds transfer,” said Datuk Hamirullah Boorhan, Head of Community Financial Services for Maybank Malaysia.

National Bank of Cambodia image via Shutterstock


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