The Ministry of Economy and Finance is currently developing a draft of a Cambodia Financial Technology Development Policy 2023-2028, and is in talks with several relevant institutions to add more inputs to it. The policy aims to stimulate the development of Cambodia’s digital economy and society, while also improving access to financial services.

Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth chaired a June 19 meeting of the Economic and Financial Policy Committee and Digital Economy and Business Committee to examine and discuss the draft.

During the in-person and online meeting, Pornmoniroth explained how the policy aims to develop financial technology on the grounds of improving financial inclusion, stabilising the financial sector and promoting financial innovation to maximise the benefits of a digital transformation.

Improved technology will provide opportunities for all actors to contribute and stimulate economic development and build a modern digital society, he said.

“We aim to develop a financial technology ecosystem through the development of a favourable policy environment and the development of digital foundations. We encourage the use of support technologies and the stimulation of innovative solutions that improve access to financial services, as well as quality of life, to all users in the digital age,” he added.

Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Ky Sereyvath described the policy as very important in managing financial flows across the country, especially in the private sector.

“The management of cash flows and loans did not have a dedicated management system, until the finance ministry and the National Bank of Cambodia [NBC] established a recent system. The development of financial technology in Cambodia will make financial systems stronger and more resilient in the face of potential financial crises,” he said.

According to the NBC’s recent report, as of 2022, Cambodia’s banking system was made up of 59 commercial banks, nine specialised banks, five deposit-taking microfinance institutions and 82 non-deposit-taking microfinance institutions, along with 224 rural credit institutions, 16 financial leasing institutions, five third-party operators, 34 payment service providers, one credit information sharing provider, six representative offices of foreign banks, and 2,869 exchange offices.

The report concluded that the Cambodian banking system continues to be dominated by the formal banking sector, which accounted for about 85.2 per cent of total assets, followed by the microfinance sector with about 14.2 per cent and financial leasing institutions with 0.6 per cent.

The total assets available to the Kingdom’s banking sector grew by 14.5 per cent in 2022, and now total $79.7 billion, thanks to the NBC’s licensing of four additional commercial banks and three microfinance institutions.