Regional Retail Banking and Payment Systems Program in Asia

Project completed

The overall goal of the East Asia Retail Banking Payments Program is to improve access to secure, efficient and cost-effective non-cash payment services in at least four of the following countries in East Asia: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Private sector and entrepreneurship
01.04.2013 - 31.12.2018
CHF 7'125'688

According to the 2013 World Bank Findex survey, the proportion of adults without access to formal financial services ranges from about 36% in China to as high as possibly 96% in Cambodia. The program aims to improve this situation for example by enabling cashless payments via mobile phones.


The program aims to extend access to improved payment services to 10 million new users (individuals/SMEs) over 5 years. The program is working towards this goal by advocating for a more conducive business enabling environment, by building institutional capacities and by facilitating demand for such services.

Medium-term outcomes

The work at the regulatory framework is expected to result in an open and robust market structure that can support ongoing innovations and development.

Secondly, the development of strategic and operational capacity in targeted institutions for extending payment and financial services to un-/under-banked individuals and enterprises is expected to result in extended reach of sustainable and cost efficient formal financial services.

Thirdly, facilitating demand through consumer education and awarness raising activities is expected to contribute to the development of a diversified and enriched range of product offers that are better suited to meet the needs of the household and business segment in the informal and lower-income segments of the economy.


Expected results:  

Relevant regulation is improved based on recommendations.

new financial products are launched using non-cash payment systems.

number of non-cash access points are increased.

adoption of consumer protection statndards by partner institutions.

increased numbers of clients using non-cash payment services.

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
  • International Finance Corporation

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   7'125'688 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   10'518'000
Project phases

Phase 1 01.04.2013 - 31.12.2018   (Completed)