Singapore, 29 July 2021– National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) was recognised as Best Conduct of Business Regulator in Asia Pacific in 2021 under The Asian Banker Regulation and Supervision Awards at The Asian Banker Leadership Achievement Award Virtual Ceremony 2021.
NBC’s Bakong has proven that a central bank can use blockchain to modernise a payment system and ensure market integrity.
Previously, Cambodia’s complex payment marketplace comprised of banks, microfinance institutions (MFIs) and payment service providers (PSPs) which operated relatively independently of each other, making for a fragmented financial services landscape. The Bakong payment system provides a level playing field for payment service providers by bringing all players together on a common and interoperable platform via peer-to-peer and wallet-based transaction, in real-time and round-the-clock. It also ensures that consumer data and rights are properly protected.
Bakong uses a permissioned blockchain technology, where only authorised nodes can join the network. Transactions are transparent to validating nodes, which are run by NBC as a central bank and a regulator, without disclosing identity of parties involved in performing the transaction. It has proven that a central bank can use a blockchain system with digital access to real money to modernise a payment system and ensure market integrity.
The Bakong payment system went into production in October 2020
NBC had studied a number of payment systems in Kenya, the Philippines and South Africa in designing Bakong. In October 2020 it went into production after an extensive pilot period. The system provides a common platform for commercial banks,MFIs and (PSPs in the country to deliver e-wallet and money transfer services to consumers to transact with businesses and each other without the need for a bank account.
Bakong aims to improve financial inclusions in Cambodia
With a relatively high mobile phone penetration and subscription base as compared to its population size in Cambodia, mobile apps are a good medium to provide affordable and inclusive financial services. The payment system will facilitate adoption among the unbanked population as financial access through Bakong platform is much more convenient than the previous payment system.
About Regulation and Supervision Awards
The Asian Banker Regulation and Supervision Awards is a programme designed to determine and award the best practices and outstanding achievements of the top regulators in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. The Asian Banker evaluates regulators according to three basic functions of regulatory oversight that they may perform - macroeconomic regulation, systemic and prudential regulation and conduct of business oversight and their effectiveness in fulfilling these roles. We have developed our scorecards to capture the essence of the role of regulators, their effectiveness and the benchmarks they need to achieve. The evaluation process is rigorous and transparent, and constantly improved to incorporate the latest challenges and industry changes. For specific details relating to description of the awards, evaluation criteria and process, kindly visit https://www.asianbankerawards.com/regulation&supervision/
About The Asian Banker
The Asian Banker is the region’s most authoritative provider of strategic business intelligence to the financial services community. The global research company has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Manila, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Dubai, as well as representatives in London, New York, and San Francisco. It has a business model that revolves around three core business lines: publications, research services and forums. The company’s website is www.theasianbanker.com
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