The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has urged customers and retailers to make uses of e-wallets and apps such as Bakong to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In an announcement issued on May 24, NBC says that using digital banking could help reduce the number of COVID-19 transmission by lessening the need for person-to-person transactions.

NBC is also encouraging the country’s major banks and institutions to provide incentives to consumers and businesses who choose cashless transactions over those involving banknotes.

“As the regulator in banking sector in Cambodia, it is vital that we work with the industry as part of our concerted national effort to battle the COVID-19​ pandemic,” said H.E. Ms. Chea Serey, Assistant Governor and Director General of NBC.

“This is why we are encouraging all Cambodians to use e-wallets and payment platforms such as Bakong because they minimise contact and risk,” she added.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) urges caution when handling banknotes and advises people to wash their hands thoroughly after handling money –especially when touching or eating food, read the statement.

“While we realise that many Cambodians prefer to conduct their transactions in person and often in cash, we would like retailers and customers to become more used to a cashless life and for the payment platforms to do their best to educate and attract people to their apps,” H.E. Ms. Chea Serey said.

In 2020 the NBC launched Cambodia’s only integrated payment system that allows customers to do everything –e-wallets, mobile payments, online banking and financial applications –all in one place.

According to NBC, more than 59 percent of Cambodians currently conduct their payment transactions online.

“Digital payment platforms are one of the country’s most effective tools for ensuring that all segments of society have access to banks and banking,” H.E. Ms Chea Serey stressed. “Now, the safety of our population in the face of COVID-19 gives the NBC and other financial institutions another incentive to promote a cashless society.”

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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