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Mobile banking is officially the most popular form of banking in Cambodia, with transactions via mobile phones increasing while internet transactions are decreasing. Data from the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) shows that mobile banking transactions grew by 11% to KHR 746.7 trillion (USD 164 billion) in 2023, while internet banking transactions (using laptops and PCs) decreased by 7% to KHR 74.5 trillion.

Over the past five years, mobile banking has been growing faster than internet banking, which is not surprising given that Cambodia has twice as many mobile connections as internet connections. DataReportal reported that there were 22.16 million active mobile connections and 11.37 million internet connections in the country at the beginning of 2023, with penetration rates of 131.5% and 67.5%, respectively.

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Internet banking in Cambodia peaked in 2021, with the biggest decline in transactions seen in 2023, partly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Telecommunications reported a significant increase in internet usage post-COVID-19, following a notable preference for mobile payments for various services like food delivery, online shopping, and utility bill payments.

The CEO of Bridge Bank Plc, Richard HC Liew, stated that internet banking is mainly used by companies, while mobile banking is widely used by individuals across Cambodia. Liew mentioned that NBC and the Association of Banks in Cambodia have been successful in promoting mobile banking through Bakong, leading to a significant increase in mobile banking transactions in Cambodia.

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Additionally, mobile usage in Cambodia has surpassed laptop and PC usage. The country has more active mobile connections than internet users, with a penetration rate of over 100%. A NBC report highlighted a significant increase in payments through QR codes and the Bakong system in 2023, indicating growing confidence and adoption among the public. The interoperability of Bakong has also played a key role in promoting digital payments and financial inclusion across Cambodia as well as between banks and merchants.

The surge in mobile banking is also attributed to the promotion of NBC's Bakong mobile payment system, developed in partnership with Japanese tech firm, SORAMITSU​, and launched in 2020. According to NBC, the Bakong mobile app recorded 200.93 million transactions in 2023, which is a staggering five times higher than the previous year.

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