FAST Payments for Riel Bank Transfers in Cambodia

Since its inception in July, the Fast and Secure Transfer (FAST) payment system has allowed customers to make electronic Khmer riel transactions from one commercial bank or MDI to another instantaneously.

Launched by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), the new riel mode of payment will help to reduce time and fees on transactions between banks or MDIs. According to Ly Thay, Senior Vice President and Head of the Operations Divisions at Acleda Bank, a $5 fee previously applied to fund transfers between domestic banks for amounts less than $5,000, and $10 for larger amounts.

The FAST system charges a transaction fee of 4,000 riel for riel transfers of less than 4 million riel (USD$1,000). Transfers ranging from 4 million to 20 million riel are charged 8,000 riel, while amounts exceeding 20 million riel are charged 12,000 riel.

With an increasing number of financial institutions launching mobile or Internet banking options, Cambodia is gradually shifting towards an electronic payment culture. Neav Chanthana, NBC’s Deputy Governor, believes that riel transfers will positively impact the Kingdom’s financial sector. She said: “[The FAST system] will promote the use of local currency, enhance transparency through electronic payment, reduce cash circulation in the market, and finally, improve effectiveness of financial resources utilization.”

Charles Vann, Vice Chairman of the Association of Banking in Cambodia, said that the FAST system would promote electronic fund transfers in various areas, such as bill payments, remittances or online purchases.

“The FAST system contributes to boosting business activity as it facilitates the ordering of goods and payments are made the same day,” he said. “It will also help to boost e-commerce activity.”

Customers of seven banks – Acleda Bank, Cambodia Public Bank, Canadia Bank, ABA, BIDC, Phillip Bank, and Sathapana Bank, are entitled to use the FAST system. Six MDIs, AMK, VisionFund, Prasac, Amret, Kredit and Hattha Kaksekar can use it too.

Bank customers can only use the FAST system physically at participating bank branches for now, but the NBC has future plans to expand the system to online and mobile banking as well.

Source: The Phnom Penh Post