Cambodia and Thailand the second phase of cross-border QR code payments, which was confirmed by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), and should allow Thai nationals to use the Thai currency baht when purchasing in Cambodia.
Chea Chanto, governor of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, visiting governor of the Bank of Thailand, presided over the launch event in Phnom Penh.
Serey Chea Deputy Governor at the National Bank of Cambodia said on her personal LinkedIn “In 2020 we launched Cambodia selected banks’ QR scanning QR from elected banks in Thailand. Today we launched phase 2 of our collaboration with ThaiQR scanning 1.5 million KHQR merchants in Cambodia and KHQR can scan 7.6 million merchants in Thailand, making QR payments between the two countries a lot easier emphasizing the use of local currencies for transactions.”
According to a statement from NBC, the cross-border QR code payments aim to promote the usage of local currencies and financial inclusion, facilitate cross-border trade activities, and boost tourism in both countries.
They say that since 2020, Cambodians have been able to pay for goods or services through mobile banking applications by scanning QR codes at retail merchants in Thailand. The second phase will allow Thais* to do the same in Cambodia as of June 6, 2023.
*The users of the QR code payment system will be required to have a bank account in their local currency.
NBC has been exploring and signing MoUs with a number of partners to promote cross-border payment and remittance, including Vietnam, China, Rwanda, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Solomon Islands & Fiji.
Cambodia QR Codes & Banking Apps
- At the start of 2023, the NBC Bakong banking app had nearly reached 8 million users (the population of Cambodia is estimated at around 16.8 million).
- The Credit Bureau Singapore & Credit Bureau Cambodia also launched the first cross-border initiative in March 2023.
- The PROFITENCE “E-commerce 2022 Report” showed that cashless payment adoption in Cambodia increased from 40% in 2021 to 68% in 2022.
- A Visa Cambodia report released in 2023 showed that after dropping to 64% in 2021, 86% of those surveyed in 2022 said they use cash for payments, the same percentage as in 2020.
- 65% of respondents to Visa’s survey said cash was their favourite payment method, followed by QR codes at 21%.