A Complete Guide to Money and Banking in Cambodia

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Besides finding the right real estate to rent or buy in Cambodia as an expat, you also need to figure out what your finances will be like. Making sure that you have easy access to your money and can pay for your wants and needs without worries should be your priority to make living in the country more convenient for you. 

Prepare yourself better and make smart financial decisions when you know the complete guide to finances as an expat here in IPS Cambodia. 

Currencies used in Cambodia 

In Cambodia, the official currency used is Riel (KHR) and it’s accepted in most places, especially in rural areas. However, another commonly accepted currency is the United States Dollar (USD). This is used in business transactions, hotels, restaurants, and in major cities like Phnom Penh. 

Common payment methods 

Cambodia is a developing country that has consistently improved its economy in the last decade. Similar to this, Cambodia has adopted numerous technologies to make daily life more convenient for locals and expats alike, including different payment methods. See below the top commonly accepted payment methods in the country:

QR and Mobile Payment

Since the pandemic hit, Cambodia has seen widespread adoption of QR code payments and mobile banking. With the touch-free nature of QR code payments, customers can easily make transactions using their smartphones or other mobile devices. This innovative payment method has become increasingly popular, providing convenience and safety for both consumers and businesses alike.

As a result, QR code payments and mobile banking have quickly become an integral part of everyday life in Cambodia, and they continue to gain momentum as a preferred payment method in the country.


Before online payments has been popular, the most common payment method in Cambodia is cash. Whether you want to pay using KHR or USD, some businesses or establishments prefer accepting cash when you buy their goods or services. 

Withdrawing cash in ATMs is easy since there are hundreds of machines located in the country. If you have a local Cambodian bank card, you have the option of withdrawing cash either in USD or KHR currencies without additional charges. On the other hand, if you withdraw money using an international card, your card is subject to a transfer fee ($5 transfer fee in most ATM banks).

Recently, some local banks have also implemented changes in withdrawing money currencies. For instance, you are to receive the money in USD when you withdraw an amount of $100 USD or above using ABA Bank. Any amount below $100 USD will come out from ATM machines in Cambodian Riel.

Credit and debit cards 

Following cash, the second most accepted payment method in establishments and stores are debit and credit cards. These cards are commonly accepted in areas within Cambodia that are popular with tourists like Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Whether you go to a high-end store or mid-end, you can use these cards to pay. 

However, if you go outside popular tourist areas, they might not be accepted. Additionally, if you use a credit card to pay, there is an extra charge between 2% to 4% on your bill. 

Traveller’s check 

Similar to other countries, you can use your traveller’s check to pay for hotels and restaurants in Cambodia. Most banks and some money exchange places also accept it so you can easily buy anything you would need or want. The most widely accepted traveller’s check in the country is American Express. 

Online banking

Over the last few years, online banking has been integrated into banks and accepted into a variety of stores. Most banks offer online banks to schedule payments, transfer funds or pay bills, but this hasn’t been adopted yet into daily transactions in the country. Some banks that offer this are ACLEDA, FTB, and Canadia Bank.

What you need to know about banking 

In order to achieve seamless financial transactions, you need to know more about banking in Cambodia. While you can still use your international card to pay, there are numerous perks to having a local bank account. Continue reading below on why you need a local bank, transaction fees, and requirements to open an account. 

Local vs International bank 

Using your international bank card to pay for transactions in Cambodia is possible and convenient. After all, you don’t have to set anything up and process a new bank application since this is accepted in most places. However, you have to consider that there are costly convenience fees, automatic currency conversion fees if your home currency isn’t USD, and others. 

If you have a local bank account, the convenience fees are less and you don’t have to worry about currency conversion fees since your money (whether USD or KHR) will be exactly as it is in your bank.  

Requirements to open an account 

It’s easy to open a bank account in Cambodia since you only need to bring proof of identification like your passport, visa and minimum deposit amount for the account. However, there are some banks that require you to bring other items so it’s best to prepare the following: 

  • Valid passport 
  • Visa 
  • Deposit amount 
  • Certificate of employment or photocopy of your business registration 
  • Photocopy of your rental agreement 
  • A passport size photo of yourself

READ ALSO: Opening a Bank Account in Cambodia as an Expat

Withdrawal transaction fees 

When you use a local bank account to withdraw from its ATM, you do not need to worry about convenience fees. However, if you withdraw using an international bank card, the convenience fee for the transaction can range $4 – $5. 

Taxes as an expat 

Whether you’re officially considered as a resident in Cambodia or not, foreigners are still expected to pay taxes. If you’re employed or have a business, you’ll encounter income tax or business tax. Additionally, VAT which are taxes on merchandise and services are something that you’ll pay for. 

The basic tax added for VAT depending on the products or services are the following: 

  • Cigarettes and alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages → 10% 
  • Entertainment services → 10% 
  • Air transportation services → 10% 
  • Telephone services → 3% 
  • Accommodation Tax → 2% 

Meanwhile, income tax depends on your monthly salary as you can see below: 

  • 0 to 500,000 KHR → 0% tax 
  • 500,001 to 1,250,000 KHR → 5% tax 
  • 1,250,001 to 8,500,000 KHR → 10% tax 
  • 8,500,001 to 12,500,000 KHR → 15% tax 
  • 12,500,001 KHR and above → 20% tax 

If you have your own business located in Cambodia, the tax rates based on income generated yearly are as follows: 

  • 0 to 6,000,000 KHR  → 0% tax 
  • 6,000,001 to 15,000,000 KHR → 5% tax 
  • 15,000,001 to 102,000,000 KHR → 10% tax 
  • 102,000,001 to 150,000,000 KHR → 15% tax 
  • 150,000,001 KHR and above → 20% tax

To learn more about banking and finances involved in Cambodia real estate, visit one of the local banks popular for expats listed here.

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