Cambodian migrant workers in South Korea now have another option to send money home after locally-owned Wing Bank (Cambodia) Plc and Japan Remit Finance Co Ltd’s South Korean unit (JRF Korea) unveiled a tie-up on remittances, which according to the former is “a significant step towards expanding the reach of both companies in the international remittance market”.

Wing Bank is a member of the local Royal Group of Companies Ltd, and bills itself as “the bank for every Cambodian”, while JRF Korea is “one of the fastest-growing fintech companies in South Korea”, the former said in a May 16 statement.

The partnership was sealed with a ceremonial signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on April 11 by Wing Bank deputy CEO Chhun Vattanak Phakdey and JRF Korea chief operating officer “Philip” Park Seong-hwan, the statement noted.

“The partnership offers a convenient and secure way for Cambodian residents in South Korea to send money home,” it said.

“They can easily initiate a transfer by visiting any of JRF Korea’s branches or counters, and then selecting whether to transfer funds via account-to-account, allowing their families to receive cash directly into their Wing Bank account that they can view on the Wing Bank app.

“If they choose cash pick-up, an eight-digit code will be given that their family can use to withdraw the funds at any of over 11,000 Wing Cash Xpress agents across Cambodia.

“New users with JRF Korea can also enjoy up to two free transactions as part of a special promotion offer,” it added.

JRF Korea’s Park enthused that by providing South Korea-based Cambodians access to the most up-to-date remittance solutions, as per the MoU, the two partners could make a big difference in local communities.

“We are delighted to be working with Wing Bank to bring our innovative remittance solutions to Cambodians residing in South Korea.

“This partnership reflects our shared commitment to providing affordable, reliable and fast remittance services to customers across borders,” he said. “We look forward to a fruitful collaboration with Wing Bank, and to making a positive impact on the lives of Cambodian communities.”

Wing Bank’s Vattanak Phakdey stressed that this partnership “is more than just providing a remittance service. It is about supporting and making a positive impact on the lives of hardworking Cambodians residing in South Korea and their families.

“We are committed to making a difference by ensuring that their families can safely and conveniently access their hard-earned money from anywhere, anytime in Cambodia,” he said.

On April 16, Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng reported that the “more than 60,000” Cambodians employed in South Korea send home an average of $500-$600 million dollars each year, significantly contributing to economic growth.

“In 2023, because their hard work ethic was noted in the past, Cambodian workers ranked first among foreigners working in South Korea. The Korean government has promised to increase the number of workers by 10,000 or more, which is great news for all Cambodians,” he said.

According to Samheng, the Cambodian government has steadily improved its relations with South Korea since 1997, resulting in excellent cooperation.

On May 14, the minister revealed that, at present, about 1.3 million Cambodian workers send their families nearly $3 billion in remittances each year. For comparison, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates the Kingdom’s 2022 nominal GDP (gross domestic product) at $28.544 billion.