2023 was a good year for digital payments in Cambodia

2023 was a good year for digital payments in Cambodia

Digital payments in Cambodia grew significantly in 2023 in terms of digital wallet accounts and transactions, according to the latest figures from the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC).

According to media reports, Cambodia’s central bank released a report on Tuesday that said the number of registered e-wallet accounts last year increased to 19.7 million. With Cambodia’s population estimated to be 16.9 million as of mid-2023, that figure indicates people are using more than one digital wallet.

Meanwhile, the total number of digital payment transactions grew 28.7% to 601.3 million, while transaction amounts rose 18% to $75.8 billion.

The NBC report also said 2023 was an especially good year for its Bakong mobile payment system, which it developed in partnership with Japanese tech firm Soramitsu and launched in 2020. The report said the Bakong mobile app recorded 200.93 million transactions in 2023, five times higher than the previous year.

Of those, 68.79 million Bakong transactions were made in Khmer riel at a value of KHR81.05 trillion (US$19.8 billion), while 132.14 million transactions were in US dollars totalling US$53.76 billion. The value amounts were by 3.4 times and 2.4 times higher, respectively, compared to 2022, the NBC report said.

According to the NBC report, 33 payment service institutions were licensed, and two banking and financial institutions authorized, to operate payment businesses in the country by the end of 2023.

“Efficiency of the payment transaction system has actively contributed to boosting trading of goods and services, financial inclusion, and promoting Khmer riel uses, which support the target of the government’s digital socio-economic development,” NBC Governor Chea Serey told the Khmer Times.

The newspaper also reported that NBC plans to link Bakong with China and India later this year to promote cross-border payments using local currencies.

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