Cambodia's Central Bank, UnionPay International Launch Cross-Border QR Code Payment

NBC's Governor Chea Serey and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian discussed during the launching of cross-border QR code payment on Dec. 22 in Phnom Penh. Photo: Chea Serey / Facebook

PHNOM PENH-- The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and Chinese financial services provider UnionPay International on Friday launched cross-border QR code payment.

NBC's Governor Chea Serey said the introduction of cross-border QR code payments between the NBC's Bakong, a mobile payment and banking system, and UnionPay International will elevate the level of financial cooperation between both institutions, providing benefits to users in Cambodia and China, and globally.

"From today onwards, visiting UnionPay cardholders will be able to use their UnionPay-enabled wallets, such as the UnionPay app and commercial bank apps that are enabled for UnionPay QR Code payment, to scan KHQR codes to complete payment transactions at approximately 1.8 million merchants in Cambodia," she said at the launching event in Phnom Penh.

"Additionally, by early 2024, Cambodian residents will be enabled to use their Bakong wallet to make payments at UnionPay QR code accepting merchants in China and globally, thereby optimizing the mobile payment experience during international travels," she added.

Serey said this collaboration will substantially contribute to the promotion of trade, tourism activities and financial inclusion in Cambodia.

According to the governor, at present, the NBC has also successfully launched cross-border QR code payments with Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

The increasing popularity of QR Code payments, particularly among international tourists, has promoted the rapid expansion of QR Code interoperability within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.

Cai Jianbo, president of China UnionPay and chairman of UnionPay International, said this joint effort aims to cater to travelers from China and other global markets, thereby contributing to the resurgence of international travel and fostering economic development in Cambodia.

"Under the guidance of the People's Bank of China, UnionPay is actively engaging in the integration QR code interoperability across ASEAN countries," he said in a speech delivered to the launching ceremony via video link.

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