The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is months away from launching its own payments app powered by a central bank digital currency (CBDC), Phnom Penh Post reports.
Project Bakong, dubbed the “national payment gateway for Cambodia,” is a blockchain-based peer-to-peer payments platform. The Bakong wallet will be linked to the bank account of the user to enable the transfer of fiat currency. Transactions are done in real time and the NBC is responsible for safely recording transfers. Unlike decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Bakong is centralized with the backing of the banking system.
Shing Chang Moo, president of the Phnom Penh Commercial Bank, says that Bakong is a more convenient and cost-effective solution than credit cards and debit cards.
The project already has garnered the support of 11 banks. NBC director-general Chea Serey says that other banks will follow suit soon.
“Bakong will play a central role in bringing all players in the payment space in Cambodia under the same platform, making it easy for end-users to pay each other regardless of the institutions they bank with. Eventually, we hope to allow cross border payment through the Bakong system too.”
The Bakong Project began its trial stages last July. It is expected to be operational within the fiscal quarter.
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