The National Bank of Cambodia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ant International to promote inbound and outbound cross-border mobile payments.
The signing was presided over by Chea Serey, governor of the National Bank of Cambodia and Douglas Feagin, senior vice-president of Ant Group and head of Alipay+, Ant International, today at the Singapore Fintech Festival.
The MOU aims to promote efficient and secure cross-border mobile payments via QR code through KHQR between Bakong’s network and Alipay+’s payment partners and global merchants. Under this partnership, users of Alipay+ payment partners can simply use their home e-wallets to pay at any KHQR merchants across Cambodia, that is connected to a Khmer Riel bank account, offering them greater convenience, while also helping local businesses benefit from the growth in tourism.
Additionally, Bakong users having full KYC and Khmer Riel bank account holders, will be able to use local wallets and apps supported by National Bank of Cambodia, at Alipay+ global merchants, which can help promote the use of the local currency.
Sereysaid said: “This MOU marks another milestone in cross-border payment. Cambodia has become a popular destination for Chinese and international tourists in recent years, and for the economy, cross-border QR payments can make a big difference in a digital way and offer more convenience. This simplicity of making payments, provides merchants with a boost in revenue, helping to stimulate economic activity. I’m confident this collaboration with Alipay+ will be beneficial for all parties and I would like to extend my wishes of continued success fir all stakeholders as we embark on this journey of cooperation and achievement.
KHQR, launched by National Bank of Cambodia in July 2022 and operated by Bakong, was created for retail payment in Cambodia and cross-border payment within ASEAN countries. It only requires a single QR for receiving payment through any mobile banking apps of Bakong members including Bakong app, making QR payment simple for both customers and merchants in Cambodia.
According to the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia, 3.92 million international tourists visited the country in the first nine months of 2023, an increase of 211% over the same period last year.
With tourism being one of the four pillars of Cambodia’s economy, local merchants need to better engage with international visitors, particularly in accepting mobile payments which have become the norm for their day-to-day transactions.
Feagin said: “We thank the National Bank of Cambodia for their partnership and support in enabling acceptance of Alipay+ payment partners across the KHQR network. We believe that this will bring added convenience to tourists, who have a preference to ‘pay like a local’, using their familiar payment methods wherever they can. More importantly, this will make it easier for them to shop at local businesses, particularly micro merchants, thereby bringing these merchants more opportunities, and stimulate the overall growth of the tourism ecosystem in Cambodia.”
Alipay+ is a suite of global cross-border payments and marketing solutions operated by Ant International. Alipay+ enables digital payment acceptance of e-wallets, banks apps and buy-now-paylater apps at 88 million merchants in 57 markets globally that are part of the Alipay+ ecosystem. Alipay+ is also widely accepted in popular travel destinations including the Chinese mainland, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and South Korea, among others.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker