UnionPay has reportedly collaborated with fintech solutions provider Mpay to issue the former’s contactless prepaid card in Cambodia.

The alliance will allow payments at Cambodian merchants with QR Codes, reported Khmer Times.

Mpay CEO Sun Lei said: “Our partnership with UnionPay is a new milestone because UnionPay is not only the world’s largest international payment brand in terms of number of cards issued, but also a global leader for innovative payment services such as QR codes and wallets for payment.

“We are confident that this partnership will help accelerate the kingdom’s transformation to a cashless society.”

The development comes after a recent statement encouraging digital transactions in the wake of Covid-19 by the community of banking and financial sector (BFIs).

The community was represented by the Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC), Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA) and Cambodian Association of Finance and Technology (CAFT).

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The number of active e-wallets in Cambodia surged 64% to 5.22 million in 2019, compared with 2018, as per estimates by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC).

However, Cambodia still relies largely on cash, said the report, adding that NBC has launched various initiatives to drive financial inclusion to serve the country’s unbanked population.

UnionPay International South East Asia Cambodia country manager Leang Chenda said: “We are pleased to collaborate with strategic and like-minded partners such as Mpay to expand UnionPay’s existing range of card products and payment services to offer our local customers more choices for convenient and safe payment methods.

“We hope that our partnership with Mpay will also improve financial inclusion by giving the unbanked access to UnionPay prepaid cards, helping them to get access to a whole plethora of banking and payment services.”

Last year, Cambodian lender Acleda Bank partnered with UnionPay to issue contactless debit cards.

In 2018, UnionPay tied up with Cambodia MekongBank to roll out QR code payment service for its cardholders in Cambodia.