Singapore, Cambodia Strike Fintech Deal For Improved Cross-Border Collaboration

Singapore business district
A general view of surveillance cameras near the central business district in Singapore March 5, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su)

During the recently concluded ASEAN leaders meeting in Thailand, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that seeks to enhance the two countries' partnership on financial services innovations.

According to the Khmer Times, the central banks agreed to share information on financial technology (fintech) developments in their areas of responsibility. The two sides also agreed to exchange relevant data on emerging markets that could be beneficial for the countries' fintech activities.

Under the MoU, the central banks of Singapore and Cambodia will collaborate in training fintech startups and interested entrepreneurs as part of their efforts in improving cross-border transactions that will further enhance finance-related exchanges between the two countries.

"This will also allow us to share experiences and information related to FinTech ... and reap the benefits of the new innovation in financial technology, enhance payment systems, and promote financial inclusion," Deputy Governor of the NBC, Neav Chanthana, said of the partnership.

Deputy Managing Director of MAS, Jacqueline Loh, said the MoU marks the beginning of a partnership that seeks to create better opportunities for financial innovation not just in Singapore and Cambodia but also in other member countries in the ASEAN region. For Loh, the fintech deal is proof of the "long-standing relationship" between the central banks.

Singapore has been boosting its fintech cooperation with other countries over the last few months. The Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) recently struck a deal with FinTech Australia (FA) in a bid to open better opportunities for firms in the sector that run across the two countries.

Singapore and Australia have expressed eagerness to build on the new partnership that seeks to expand fintech operations and collaboration between both sides. Industry experts predicted that the alliance will further help in building up the Asian city-state's reputation as a financial leader in the region.

Cambodia, on the other hand, also strengthened ties with other Asian countries as it recently forged an alliance with South Korea's Kookmin Bank for digital banking transactions. The Seoul-based bank said the deal aims to link the parties' platforms to provide consumers with better mobile payment services. The partnership involves Pi Pay, Cambodia's leading mobile payment firm that has over 250,000 users.

Cambodia's Pi Pay has already forged ties with China's e-commerce behemoth, Alibaba Group, and analysts believe the latest deal could open further doors for the country to expand its reach in other ASEAN member nations.

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