Acleda Bank became only the second bank in the country to offer banking through mobile telephone software with the launch of its new “Unity” service on Friday.
The new mobile telephone service will allow payments, fund and account transfers, balance inquiries, and access to multiple currencies for customers at the bank, which has 670,383 accounts holding a total of $793 million in deposits, according to a statement from Acleda.
In Channy, president of Acleda, said the new technology would help modernize the bank and help the financial institution penetrate further into the country.
“We need to be at all times ahead of the industry,” he said, adding that the service is also accessible through the Internet. “We want customers to have their savings with the real bank.”
Tal Nay Im, director-general of the National Bank of Cambodia, said Acleda was joining ANZ Royal Bank in offering mobile telephone services. The move is important to the banking sector, she said, as she expected foreign banks that work in the country to begin expanding electronic services as well.
“I hope that in the future there are more banks that provide electronic services, e-banking,” she said. Still, she said, banking infrastructure in Cambodia must make more progress in terms of check clearing and inter-bank transfers.
Stephen Higgins, president of ANZ Royal, said that the demand for mobile services in Cambodia is not yet very high but that banks needed to be ahead of the curve as the country develops.
“It’s something that in the future that if you don’t have it, it’s going to damage your competitive position,” he said. “This is something that is happening in every market around the world. Customers eventually have an expectation that they can do their banking online. It will happen here at some stage.”
He added that several banks in the Cambodian market now had Internet banking services but that some of these were still limited to simple procedures such as balance inquiries.
So Phonnary, executive vice-president of Acleda, said that the new mobile phone services would be a boon to customers.
“A customer has more expectations that they can transfer multiple currencies for business and households can [also] use this to support their relatives,” she said.