PHNOM PENH: Cambodia and Laos have officially launched the first phase of cross-border QR code payment between the two neighbors (KHQR scan LAOQR), allowing Cambodians to use their national currency, Riel, through QR code when they shop in Laos, said the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) in a statement.
The official launching ceremony was held in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, late last week under the presidency of H.E. Ms. Chea Serey, NBC Governor, and her Lao counterpart H.E. Bounleua Sinxayvoravong.
“The first phase of the project allows Cambodians, who have bank accounts in their local currency Riel, to use mobile banking application to make payments via scanning LAO QR Code with merchants or shops in Laos,” read an NBC statement.
“This project will promote the usage of national currency, boost economic growth, tourism, and cross-border trade between Cambodia and Laos,” it added.
H.E. Ms. Chea Serey said that the cooperation is in line with the purpose of the ASEAN Community to promote the use of the national currency in the market and has made a significant contribution to boosting the financial environment.
“This will contribute to strengthening closer economic ties between Cambodia and Laos, which will support economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic and enable the two countries to reach another level of financial cooperation in the use of technology for the benefit of the people in both countries,” she stressed.
For his part, H.E. Bounleua Sinxayvoravong said the cooperation showed a close partnership between the two countries on innovative products and service development in line with the economic trend in the region and the world.
In the second phase of the project, Lao people who have bank accounts in their local currency Kip will be able to pay for goods or services through a mobile banking application by scanning the KHQR code with merchants or shops in Cambodia, the statement added.
Besides Laos, Cambodia has cross-border QR code payment cooperation with Thailand. The two sides on June 6 formally rolled out Phase II of cross-border QR code payment.
Payment by KHQR Code has become popular among the people. As of April 2023, the number of transactions under the KHQR Code in currency Riel was nearly 170,000 transactions worth 97 billion Riel (approximately US$23.5 million), while the number of U.S. dollar transactions increased to 216,069 transactions worth US$38 million, according to an NBC report. AKP