Cambodia and Laos launch cross-border QR code payments

Monday 21 August 2023 12:07 CET | News

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and Bank of the LAO PDR (BOL) have launched the first phase of cross-border QR code payments in Laos. 

Cross-border payments have continued to be developed for the second phase, where Laotian tourists or mobile baking service users would be able to have saving accounts in the official national currency of Laos, KIP or LAK, while also enabling payments through scanning KHQR with LAOQR when they visit Cambodia.

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and Bank of the LAO PDR (BOL) have launched the first phase of cross-border QR code payments in Laos.

The cross-border payment collaboration meets the objective of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to encourage the usage of national currencies in the markets, therefore participating in increasing financial inclusion and leveraging Cambodia and Laos’ economic and financial relations in the digital context.

Officials have stated that Cambodia is the first country that connected and developed cross-border payment via QR Code effectively with Laos in the first phase. Moreover, the two central banks are planning to develop the systems and services in close bilateral collaboration for the second phase to focus on regional and global economic trends. Cambodian representatives have said that the bilateral banking and financial collaboration will allow Cambodian tourists, traders, and mobile banking users to complete cross-border payments at thousands of participating vendors or merchants in Laos. However, the charge fee for users that make these payments via KHQR-LAOQR will be approximately USD 0.024-0.026 per transaction regardless of the amount of payment.

Currently, five of the eight commercial banks in Laos participate in cross-border payment connectivity that includes Acleda Bank Lao Ltd, while other KHQR banks and financial institutions need to contact Acleda Bank for KHQR-LAOQR payment transactions. A request must be submitted by the banks, which then will be forwarded and accepted by the central bank so that customers are able to make cross-border payments. 


Cross-border payments in Asia

Recently, Indonesia’s central bank announced  the beginning of a trial for cross-border QR code payments with Singapore, their goal being to integrate the system in the second half of 2023.

Back in June 2023, Cambodia and Thailand launched  the second phase of the cross-border QR payment, the two countries working towards their objective of improving the national currency settlement and cross-border cashless payments. Additionally, the collaboration aims t improve tourist flow, while also facilitating cross-border trade and financial inclusion.

Indonesia and Malaysia launched cross-border QR payment linkage for instant retail payments back in May 2023, shortly after Singapore announced the initiation of the same system with Malaysia in April 2023. The collaboration’s objective is to allow participating financial institutions and their customers to transact retail payments through NETS QR and DuitNow QR codes. 

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Keywords: QR payments, digital payments, cross-border payments, online payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce