The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is pushing for more digital payment options for members of the public for the ministry’s public services, as well as expressway tolls.

The encouragement was made by Heang Sotheayuth, director of the ministry’s Department of Information Technology and Public Relations, during a March 13 meeting with 12 financial institutions and banks and 11 other companies and organisations aimed to update payment procedures.

“We hope to make it possible easier for people to pay public service fees and expressway tolls through any financial institutions or banks with which they have an account. The use of technology will make it easier for all relevant units to report takings accurately and will speed up service provision,” he continued.

The meeting attendees discussed improving the ways payments are collected, in compliance with the ministry’s guidelines.

The ministry said that at present seven of the 23 participating financial institutions can be used to pay tolls on the expressway – Acleda, Chip Mong, ABA, Wing, Vattanac, Canadia and Ly Hour. Twelve, including the seven, plus Campu, Sathapana, PiPay, Prince and FTB, can be used to pay for the public services that the ministry offers.

Eleven other organisations – including Visa and Mastercard – are preparing the necessary documentation to be added to the list.

Acleda Bank president and group managing director In Channy said that digital payment systems increased the pace of travelling on the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway.

“We will try to make the payment system even smoother. We are in talks with Cambodia PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd – who operate the toll road – to prepare a specific app payment that will facilitate this. Ideally, people should be able to pay for their toll before arriving at the gate, and be able to exit the expressway without delays,” he added.

From October 1 last year until February 28, almost 1.9 million vehicles have travelled the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway. Since tolls were introduced in November, over 1.4 million payments have been made, generating nearly $11 million, said the ministry.