THE domestic banking industry is making increased use of Information and Communication Technology, though usage lags behind many international counterparts, experts said at a conference yesterday.
National Bank of Cambodia officials said the domestic banking and finance sector is becoming increasingly developed, adding ICT will play an important role particularly in developing the stock exchange, payments systems, and credit bureaus.
“These areas require specific technological platforms in order to make functions operational,” said NBC Banking Supervision Department director general Pal Buy Bonnang at the third Banking and Microfinance Cambodia Conference held at Phnom Penh’s Intercontinental Hotel yesterday.
“The role of stakeholders particularly in ICT development is a high priority. Although we are not the experts, the NBC is strongly supportive of the development and contribution from the private sector.”
Domestic banking companies have made increased use of technology in recent years. ACLEDA Bank launched its Unity mobile phone banking service last year. ANZ Royal, meanwhile, has offered internet banking in Cambodia since 2005, according to chief executive officer Stephen Higgins.
Canadia Bank vice president Dieter Billmeier said on conference sidelines that his bank was also interested in launching internet banking.
“We are working on that, and we hope that it will be starting in 2012. Not only an accounting system, but real internet banking,” he said.
The number of internet subscriptions has increased rapidly in Cambodia, according to statistics compiled by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. Cambodia had 173,675 internet subscribers in 2010, an increase on 29,589 a year earlier, statistics last month showed.
Spreading banking services via ICT is also imperative to plugging Cambodia into the global economy, according to Chun Vat, secretary general of the National Information Communications Technology Development Authority.
“To modernise and drive innovation in the banking and financing sector, we need to deploy ICT effectively to harness greater productivity, integration and convenience,” he said.
Increased use of technology meant bankers would better be able to respond to market changes, he said.
International Data Group business development manager Chipphal Ouk said technology usage at Cambodia’s banking sector was increasing at a fast pace, especially through the presence of large international banks.
Cambodia has the potential to quickly reach international standards of ICT usage in its banking system, as much of the required technology was readily available, he said.
(source PhnomPenh post, Friday, 25 February 2011 15:02 May Kunmakara)