Tuesday, 10 May 2011 15:00Jeremy Mullins
MOBITEL has submitted the required documents for licensing of its Cellcard Cash programme, with approval slated to come soon, according to National Bank of Cambodia Director General and Spokeswoman Nguon Sokha yesterday.
“Actually, Mobitel has complied with all our legal requirements,” she said, adding the firm’s application is before NBC Governor Chea Chanto, which is the last step in the process to become fully licensed.
“I don’t think it [approval] will take long,” she said.
Mobitel controversially launched its Cellcard Cash programme in September 2010 without NBC oversight. Cellcard Cash is a method of providing money transfers using mobile phones.
The central bank released a prakas, or edict, on August 27, 2010, stipulating programmes such as Cellcard Cash must partner with a bank and submit to NBC approval.
NBC officials had set a February 2011 deadline for Mobitel to meet its requirements, which was later pushed back to April.
Mobitel officials declined to comment yesterday.
Mobitel had received some funding for Cellcard Cash from the Mobile Money for the Unbanked programme, which had been funded largely by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. MMU officials froze payments of the grant to the Cambodian mobile provider following the programme’s launch without central bank oversight.
Nguon Sokha also confirmed that Mobitel would be partnering with Union Commercial Bank to provide the service.