Singapore, Cambodia among Southeast Asian countries eyeing digital currencies as a way of promoting e-commerce, payment efficiency

South Asian countries such as Singapore and Cambodia are exploring the launch of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to enhance payments efficiency and to encourage start-ups and e-commerce in the region, a panel hosted by the South China Morning Post was told on Thursday.

With a relatively young population that has a median age of 30 years and a high percentage of internet and mobile phone sue, Southeast Asia has seen a lot of start-ups come up in digital payments, e-commerce and cryptocurrencies.

“Southeast Asia has been a very fertile ground for digital payment innovation,” Benedicte Nolens, who heads the Hong Kong centre of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub, told the panel held under China Conference: Southeast Asia. “When you see online e-commerce growth, typically it goes fairly well with new payment mechanisms,” she added.

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