Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Local users take tentative steps into the digital world

Local users take tentative steps into the digital world

Shoes produced by the international brand Nike placed on display at a shop in Phnom Penh in 2010.
Shoes produced by the international brand Nike placed on display at a shop in Phnom Penh in 2010. Pha Lina

Local users take tentative steps into the digital world

A new study by global market research firm Kantar TNS has shown that Cambodians are both increasingly adventurous and sceptical internet users, becoming more willing to explore online payment options but more wary of their digital lives being tracked.

According to the firm’s Connecting Life report, Cambodians are more cynical toward global brands than other mobile-first markets in Southeast Asia, with around 40 percent pledging their faith in big names.

When it comes to online activity, Cambodians have shown a rise in distrust of companies’ use of their personal information compared to the same survey last year, when only 22 percent of internet users were aware they were being digitally tracked.

This year, 41 percent of Cambodians admitted they were actively worried about how brands might be using their personal information – nearly twice the percentage as in neighbouring Thailand or Vietnam.

Eelco Dijkhuizen, general manager of Kantar TNS in Cambodia, commented that brands would have to be careful in the future in order to maintain trust in the Kingdom.

“Brands need to make sure that they do not become complacent with their digital marketing, use personal data wisely to deliver a true value exchange and subsequently maintain the level of trust that they have built,” he said.

Regardless of a mounting distrust in companies collecting personal information, Cambodians are more open to the internet’s possibilities than ever before. The report found that locals were more willing to explore new outlets available to them than others in the region, with nearly half of the population happy to use online customer service options like chatbots.

This mobile-first environment in the Kingdom has also led to a greater acceptance of mobile payment options, with 38 percent of Cambodians willing to purchase goods through mobile payment companies like Pay Go and Pi Pay.

According to Anthony Galliano, CEO of Cambodian Investment Management, the trend of online payment will likely continue to grow in Cambodia.

“There has historically been an absence of payment systems that facilitate online transactions, and barely any market penetration of credit cards in the Kingdom, [but] that is rapidly changing,” he said.

He added that while payment processors are “quickly transforming the market”, new licensing structures laid out by the National Bank of Cambodia will encourage new entrants to the market that will “progressively remodel payments from cash to digital”.

Tomas Pokorny, CEO of Pi Pay, said that Pi Pay’s services had quickly become popular in Cambodia because the largely cash-based economy provided his company a clean slate for entering the market.

While he noted the importance of remaining vigilant in protecting personal information, he also urged users not to be too wary of online businesses.

“People are happy to share a lot of information with social media platforms, yet voice concern at what companies might be doing with this information,” he said.

“So there is certainly room for increasing awareness of the realities of online safety and privacy, how to keep your information secure and the great lengths that digital companies go to ensure user safety.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Thy Sovantha threatens new suit

    Social media celebrity and card-carrying CPP member Thy Sovantha yesterday said she will file a lawsuit against wildlife NGO head Suwanna Gauntlett alleging discrimination after the latter allegedly denied her access to an ecotourism program the group is launching today in Koh Kong province. The

  • Police raid Siem Reap party, arrest 10 foreigners over ‘pornographic’ images

    A group of 10 foreign tourists appeared in court today after being arrested for producing “pornographic” photos in Siem Reap town on Thursday, while dozens more were detained temporarily and let go after being lectured on their behaviour, according to authorities. A report posted to the

  • Hun Sen’s in-law removed from RCAF after cockfighting rings raided

    Thai Phany, the nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is accused of running two large cockfighting rings, has been removed as a general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Phany, formerly a one-star brigadier general, was removed by royal decree on December 19, according to

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially