CFA, CAFT to merge into fintech heavyweight


Cambodia Fintech Association (CFA) and Cambodia Association of Finance and Technology (CAFT) announced plans to merge into a heavyweight player in the Kingdom’s fintech industry and better serve the community.

Established in August 2018, the CFA now boasts 80 members fintech companies hailing from, inter alia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

 

“Andrew” Shin Chang-moo, an adviser for the association, said the merger of the two associations will strengthen the Kingdom’s sprouting fintech sector.

“It is my pleasure to be a part of this historic moment in Cambodia’s fintech scene. I hope the newly merged CAFT will bring creative and disruptive changes to the financial sectors for the benefit of the people in Cambodia,” said Shin, who is currently the president of the South Korean-owned Phnom Penh Commercial Bank Plc (PPCBank).

Tapped as CEO of the new association, Pen Chanda said it comprises the Kingdom’s most prominent fintech firms represented by prominent and visionary leaders eager to share their experiences and valuable expertise.

“I look forward to leading the association towards the future as we continue on with our advocacy in bringing together the Cambodian fintech community and serve as its unified voice,” he said.

National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) director-general Chea Serey stressed the need for a unified voice and increased cooperation among industrial players and regulators given the potential of the Kingdom’s fintech industry.

She said the merger will be crucial in enhancing the attractiveness of the sector.

 

“The Cambodian fintech scene has much potential, but needs the collective efforts from regulators and industry. I am glad to see the synergy between the two organisations. Together, we can achieve more,” Serey said.

The NBC will launch a Blockchain-based, peer-to-peer payment and money transfer platform in the next few months. Dubbed ‘Project Bakong’, the scheme already has the support of 11 banks, with many more also expected to join soon.

The number of active e-wallet accounts in the Kingdom hit 5.22 million last year, a marked 64 per cent surge from 2018, the NBC said in a report released on June 17.

It also noted that the number of deposit accounts at financial institutions reached 7.62 million last year while the volume of money transfers via banks and Payment Service Institutions (PSIs) constituted $57.99 billion last year, or 213 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Meanwhile, mobile payments via banks and PSIs equalled 22.9 per cent of 2019 GDP.

Despite remarkable achievements, it said, the development of payment services in the Kingdom continues to face significant challenges.