Cambodia Mekong Bank, a key Visa merchant acquirer in Cambodia, has announced its intention of connecting to VisaNet, Visa International's global authorization and settlement network.

It would be the first bank in Cambodia to do so. With it, merchants that have signed up with Cambodia Mekong Bank will enjoy instant, on-line authorizations, and settlements-which had been routed through Bangkok-will be quicker.

The direct link to VisaNet will also strengthen the security of the transactions, Visa said.

Cambodia's economy is undergoing a slight resurgence as tourism begins to grow, according to the companies. A hotel and shopping complex is being built in downtown Phnom Penh, and growth in leisure and business travel to the country has fueled demand for credit card acceptance.

Khov Boun Chhay, executive vice president of Cambodia Mekong Bank, said of VisaNet: "This connection will assist in the growth of the acceptance environment in Cambodia. We are confident that more merchants will see the value and benefit of accepting card payments in the future."

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