It wasn’t long ago in Phnom Penh that finding an ATM was a serious endeavour. And good luck if you wanted to easily withdraw cash outside of the capital.
In recent years this has rapidly changed, as banks and MFIs have expanded their services and locations across the country. While very few Cambodians have a bank account – only 5% according to the World Bank – increasing numbers of people are taking advantage of cashless payment options enabled by the amazing level of smartphone penetration in Cambodia.
With more and more options entering the market, it can be difficult to keep up, but below are some of the biggest and most influential cashless options, and are worth checking out for their convenience (and often some rather great discounts as well):
Cambodia’s developing fintech sector has started to attract the attention of foreign investors. Malaysia’s Revenue Group Bhd recently announced their plans to expand in Cambodia, and the company hopes to utilise IPO funds to introduce their revPAY platform.
Both Alipay and WeChat, the massively popular digital platforms from China, have sought partnerships with local companies to offer their services to the more than 1 million Chinese tourists that visit the Kingdom each year.
As the country seeks to better integrate digital technology to improve public services, and transparency of public funds, established digital payment services such as Pi Pay and Wing have announced partnerships with ministries to offer a range of services.
Wing and the Phnom Penh City Bus Authority (PPCBA) have run a successful trial of payment for city busses using a special Wing card, and the partnership looks set to continue. In early June, Pi Pay signed a partnership with the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MPWT) where users can pay for public transport, vehicle registration and several other services via the Pi Pay app.
Thomas Pokorny, Pi Pay CEO, noted at the time to Geeks in Cambodia that “our expanding network of relationships with major global players like Alipay, Wirecard and others puts us in a very strong position to bring global best practices to the local market here – for security, for new features and possibilities that we can introduce to the market here and for helping us to build knowledge about the benefits of cashless payments to the country.”
With more banks offering useful apps, and as cashless payment becomes a more normal experience for growing numbers of Cambodians, it will be interesting to see how these early pioneers adapt and develop in what will likely become an increasingly crowded market. One thing’s for sure, market research and understanding the country’s culture and needs is vital.
Keep your eyes peeled and stay excited as Cambodia’s cashless future continues to evolve, and read about it from the Geeks in Cambodia team.
Edited By: Peter Ford