Cambodians Are Embracing Cashless Payments At Remarkable Pace

Cambodians
Men pose for a selfie picture at a bakery store in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 10, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Samrang Pring)

A global leader in digital payments Visa Inc. said in its Cambodia's Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes report released on Thursday that the Cambodians are some of the most prepared citizens in terms of adopting cashless payments.

According to the Khmer Times, the report indicated that Cambodia will continue to increase digital payment transactions within the next seven years, prompting for more opportunities in financial technology.

The main link that terminals Cambodians to high levels of interest for digital payments is the rise in technological innovations. Data from the Telecommunications Regulator Cambodia revealed that there are 13.6 million mobile and fixed internet users in the country as of last year.

In the study, most respondents revealed that they are more likely to make use of cashless payments in matters related to the following sectors: entertainment, travel products, and trips, fitness, and retail stores.

Analysts noted that the above-mentioned sectors should try to explore cashless payment options for customers in Cambodia to further increase consumer interest in tech-powered financial transactions.

"Given the country's strong economic growth, it stands to reason that they also expect to see the country's payment systems develop rapidly," Visa Cambodia manager, Chum Monika pointed out.

As part of the push in helping Cambodians transition to cashless transactions, Visa Inc. has partnered with around 30 financial companies and institutions to develop digital systems for the local financial sector.

Visa Inc. believes that Cambodian financial firms, with consumer behaviors as of late, will help spur digitization in the country's overall financial environment.

Director General of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) Chea Serey noted that the country's fintech sector has yet to evolve into one that could cater to manifest demand for digital transactions.

Still, Serey said that the NBC is committed to working closely with local industry players in hopes of pushing for developments in fintech to allow finance segments to have a bigger contribution to Cambodia's economic growth this year.

Earlier this month, a report on Cambodia's fintech circle suggested that there is huge space for growth in terms of financial technology in the country. Only three percent of Cambodians use credit cards and a whopping 78 percent have yet to be banked.

Finance analysts noted that the numbers should prompt action among financial institutions to penetrate the country's finance and tech industries. Cambodia has proven to adopt fast to technological innovations so digitization should not be a hard transition for citizens, experts said.

So far, there are over 50 fintech startups in the country, with cashless payments and digital banking among the leading segments poised for further growth.

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