Temenos Regional Forum 2022 highlights composable and digital banking will drive more financial inclusion in Cambodia

Harrison White, Founder & CEO of Cambodian Investment Review

Temenos has ended its 2022 regional tour across 11 cities in Cambodia highlighting the rapidly changing industry and the need for Cambodian banks to fully embrace composable and digital banking to drive financial inclusion.

Hosted at Rosewood Hotel in Phnom Penh, the forum brought together more than 160 of the country’s top banking professionals to discuss the future of banking, recent trends in the market, and what makes Temenos Everyone’s Banking Platform.

Temenos currently has 22 core banking clients in the Cambodian market and is considered the world’s #1 best-selling banking platform providing packaged features to enable the bank to quickly launch and offer new products and services to its customers.

More disruptions are coming to the market

Nick Edwards, Deputy Regional Director, APAC, & General Manager of ASEAN outlined in his presentation that 2022 had been an exciting year for the banking software company.

“Banks around the world, APAC and here in Cambodia are responding to changing macro-economic forces and customer expectations by evolving their business models beyond the traditional, vertically integrated model.  Banks are embracing technology and new market entrants and changing their product distribution strategies. Banking is becoming embedded in everyday interactions.” Nick said.

“Temenos’s open platform for composable banking unleashes proven banking capabilities and APIs on a highly scalable architecture for Cambodian financial institutions to create banking services and in turn innovate in their offerings,” he added.   

Nick Edwards, Deputy Regional Director, APAC, & General Manager of ASEAN.

According to Nick, the future of banking has no borders or boundaries, and Temenos’ open, cloud-native platform, will create endless opportunities for everyone. The company’s latest research found that 47% of bank CEOs are looking to introduce new business models for their companies.

“Temenos brings rich local experience supporting more than 20 Cambodian banks with market-leading cloud, open API- and AI-driven technology. Utilizing this technology, we are setting a new standard for banking in Cambodia, making frictionless business banking and human, digital experiences the norm for its customers,” Nick added.

Cambodia’s rapidly developing economic landscape

Keynote speaker H.E. Dr. Kong Marry, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry & Secretary General at Digital Economy & Business Committee, commented on the Kingdom’s rapidly growing economy over the last 20 years adding digitalization was the next frontier for growth with digital banking central to this.

“Showcasing this success the World Bank most recently increased Cambodia’s level of development of government technology measured by the GovTech Maturity Index (GTMI) which has been upgraded to Grade B from C for 2022 – on par with Thailand and Vietnam,” H.E. Dr. Kong Marry said.

Keynote speaker H.E. Dr. Kong Marry, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry & Secretary General at Digital Economy & Business Committee.

Honorary speaker Mr. Sok Voeun, Chairman of Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA) & Chief Executive Officer, at LOLC (Cambodia) echoed the development and digitalization of the Kingdom’s financial industry.

Ongoing digitalization of the industry is also rapidly progressing with the local sector ready to take the next step in digitalization by embracing emerging technology such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and alternative data over the coming years,” he added.

Honorary speaker Mr. Sok Voeun, Chairman of Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA) & Chief Executive Officer, at LOLC (Cambodia) .

The panel discussion moderated by Swapnil Deshmukh, Regional Director – Infinity Digital Banking, Temenos included:

  • Eat Chetrasorivong, Group Chief Technology Officer (IT & Digital), BIC (Cambodia) Bank
  • Cynthia Liaw, Chief Executive Officer, Panda Commercial Bank
  • Ros Sokha, Senior Advisor, SBI LY Hour Bank

Reflecting on factors that are driving digital transformation in banks, Eat Chetrasorivong, Group Chief Technology Officer at BIC (Cambodia) Bank commented that it was important both sides of his team was working together.

“In my opinion, it is important that the daily operation team and the research and development teams both understand how to work together as digital transformation is a company mindset working toward a common objective,” he added.

Cynthia Liaw, Chief Executive Officer, Panda Commercial Bank added that while personalized banking is the future – most customers will still want a basic service of which to personalize.

“Conflict arises not because people do not want to go into digital transformation, but because they do not know the power of digital transformation and do not know how to use it. Here at PANDA COMMERCIAL BANK PLC. we believe in leaving no body behind. We teach everyone digital skills such as using the cloud for work collaboration. This is more productive as it allows us to see results in real time.” Cynthia said.

The expert panel discussion.

Ros Sokha, Senior Advisor, SBI LY Hour Bank said that reflecting on his team, the component for successful transformation comes from combining both bespoke services, with what the individual customers are looking for.

“I can foresee that the future of banking will be in allowing customers to have personalized add-ons for their basic customer service as they want. In addition, they may have multiple accounts with different institutions depending on the services offered,” he said.

Cloud and AI banking in Cambodia

Zannettos Zannettou, Principal BSG Consultant, Temenos spoke  about the recipe for success for banking in the cloud, which has been attributed to the success of 700+ Temenos customers consuming Temenos’ software solutions as a SaaS on the cloud.

Migrating existing workloads to the cloud, especially mission critical solutions like core banking or digital channels, enables banks to realize key benefits in business agility and scalability as well as cost control. According to Rishi Sarin, Business Solutions Lead, Temenos research has found that as much as 59% of Cambodians do not have access to formal financial services, and up to 29% of adult Cambodians are completely excluded from access to formal as well as informal finance.

“Utilizing Temenos software can allow increased financial inclusion for Cambodians through some best-in-class solutions that enable global banks to rapidly deploy inclusive banking products through digital and physical distribution channels and increase their customers’ access to financial services,” he said.

The forum brought together more than 160 of the country’s top banking professionals to discuss the future of banking,

CK Loy, Principal Consultant, Temenos highlighted the deployment of Artificial Intelligence in banks is expected to increasingly drive competitive advantages for banks, by improving efficiency through cost reduction and productivity enhancement, as well as by enhancing the quality of services and products offered to consumers.

“These competitive advantages benefit consumers by providing increased quality and personalized products, unlocking insights from data to inform investment strategies, and potentially enhancing financial inclusion by allowing for the analysis of the creditworthiness of clients with limited credit history,” he said.

“To succeed in today’s ecosystem among fintech and other players, banks must continuously innovate by turning their data from a cost center into an asset using the power of AI,” he added.

Concluding thoughts

Conclusively, with a focus on the key themes of: a) Cloud Services Adoption, b) Composable Banking, c) Next-Generation Digital Banking, and d) Financial Inclusion, Temenos Regional Forum Cambodia indeed reshaped the perspectives of the Cambodian banking community on what’s possible, as Cambodia emerges out of the pandemic and continues to leapfrog itself ahead on the digital frontier.

With the right perspectives and framework today’s technologies can forge a way forward for Cambodian banks. With the right confluence of market momentum, technological advancement, and open collaboration, Cambodian banks have at their disposal a myriad of tools available to equip them for the digital age. Brighter times area ahead for Cambodian banks as the economy progresses and unleashes new possibilities for the kingdom.

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