Home to one of Southeast Asia’s youngest populations and a growing economy built around agriculture and exports, Cambodia is turning into one of the region’s leading financial hotspots. While the Cambodian economy isn’t quite up to pace with that of Thailand or Vietnam, its rapid growth has made it a hotspot for foreign investors.
Despite this, the banking system in Cambodia is still relatively restricted, with most of the country’s foreign expatriates and retirees depending on foreign bank accounts and financial services to manage their assets. However, a growing number of banks are entering the Cambodian market to offer services to foreigners in Cambodia.
Foreign retirees and expatriates in Cambodia have a variety of banking services to choose from. Once highly restricted, Cambodia’s banking system is becoming more open and many foreign residents can now open accounts. A variety of international banks operate in Cambodia offering their services to locals and foreign residents.
Australian banks such as ANZ are easy to find in Cambodia, as well as a wide range of local banking companies. The requirements to open an account as a foreigner in Cambodia are typically a national identity card or passport, a letter confirming that you live permanently in Cambodia, as well as a small initial account deposit.
Despite this, many banks will open accounts for foreigners that do not have a place of residence in Cambodia, or occasionally ask for additional materials. In fact, some banks have been known to turn away foreign customers despite the law allowing them to open accounts for foreign retirees – a somewhat bizarre occurrence.
In any case, foreign retirees in Cambodia with a bank account can use the nation’s large network of ATMs. Note that most banks will charge a small fee for ATM use, typically less than $1 USD per interaction. In order to use an ATM based outside of Cambodia, you may need to apply for an international card from your local bank.
Due to Cambodia’s relatively young financial sector, many foreign residents that live in Cambodia choose to use an international bank instead of a local one. With fees for withdrawals relatively low and the Cambodian well connected to other systems, it’s very easy to use a foreign account for large balances and a local one for withdrawals.
While Cambodia’s financial system is far from perfect, its rapid development makes it one of the region’s most promising systems. Whether you choose to bank inside or outside Cambodia, the country’s growing network of banks and ATMs make it one of the region’s most convenience locations to maintain your finances.