Bakong-UPI cross-border QR code payment cooperation to attract more Chinese tourists

PHNOM PENH: The cross-border QR Code payment transactions through KHQR between 's network and UnionPay International's global QR Code acceptance network will expectedly contribute to attracting more Chinese tourists to Cambodia.

The of Cambodia (NBC) and UnionPay International (UPI) have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cross-border QR code payment cooperation.

Under the cooperation, Chinese tourists can make payments on QR code in Cambodia through KHQR and Cambodian people and tourists also can do so while they are in China, said NBC Deputy Governor H.E. Mrs. Chea Serey.

“This payment will help attract more Chinese tourists to visit Cambodia, as Chinese tourists do not have to withdraw the Chinese yuan in dollars or Khmer Riel and spend it in Cambodia,” she said in a press conference held here on July 16.

The payment will help promote the use of the Riel and increase its prestige on the international stage because Cambodians can pay in Riel abroad, she said.

Cambodia is aiming to attract 1 million Chinese visitors in 2023, up from 106,875 in 2022, according to the Ministry of Tourism, adding that some 5 million international tourists are expected to visit the Kingdom this year.

KHQR is a universal quick response (QR) code system created for retail payments in Cambodia. It only requires a single QR to receive payment from any mobile app including the Bakong app.

The cross-border QR Code payment transactions through KHQR between Cambodia and China are scheduled to be officially launched in late 2023.

Cambodia and Thailand launched the second phase of their cross-border QR payment system after the start of the first phase on Feb. 18, 2020. Cambodians can scan payments in Thailand from their Riel-dominated accounts in Cambodia, and Thais also can scan payments in Riel via KHQR in Cambodia.

In a bid to promote cross-border economic activities using local currencies, the NBC is expanding the operations of its Bakong blockchain-based payment system to Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, China, and India.

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