National Bank of Cambodia and UnionPay International Forge Path for Seamless Cross-Border QR Code Payments

The National Bank of Cambodia and UnionPay International have launched a cross-border QR code payment system, enabling UnionPay cardholders to conduct transactions in Cambodia. The collaboration aims to enhance financial cooperation, benefitting users in both Cambodia and China, with plans to extend the functionality to Cambodian residents for payments in China and globally by early 2024. This initiative contributes to the growth of international travel and economic development in Cambodia while aligning with the broader trend of QR code interoperability across ASEAN countries.

27 December 2023 – In a significant stride towards enhancing financial cooperation, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and Chinese financial services provider UnionPay International unveiled a cross-border QR code payment system on Friday. This collaboration allows UnionPay cardholders to use their UnionPay-enabled wallets for transactions in Cambodia, with plans for Cambodian residents to utilize their Bakong wallets in China and globally by early 2024.

At the launch event in Phnom Penh, NBC’s Governor Chea Serey highlighted the potential benefits of this partnership, stating, “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.”

Governor Serey emphasized that this collaboration will significantly contribute to trade, tourism activities, and financial inclusion in Cambodia. The cross-border QR code payment system has already been successfully implemented with Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.

By early 2024, Cambodian residents will have the capability to use their Bakong wallets for payments at UnionPay QR code-accepting merchants in China and globally, streamlining the mobile payment experience during international travels.

Cai Jianbo, President of China UnionPay and Chairman of UnionPay International, expressed the joint effort’s aim to cater to travelers from China and other global markets, fostering economic development and contributing to the resurgence of international travel in Cambodia. Jianbo noted that UnionPay is actively engaged in QR code interoperability integration across ASEAN countries, with the Bakong project in Cambodia standing as a significant milestone in this endeavor.

UnionPay International, with acceptance in 181 countries and regions, provides secure cross-border payment services to a vast cardholder base globally. In ASEAN, UnionPay International has enabled Automated Teller Machine (ATM), Point-of-Sale (POS) acceptance, card issuance, and e-wallets across all 10 countries.

This collaborative initiative signifies a strategic move towards bolstering cross-border financial services and fostering seamless transactions between Cambodia and China, aligning with the increasing popularity of QR code payments in the region. – ref: Xinhua

Author: Terry KS

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