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The growth of BanhJi, Cambodia’s first fintech company

Sim Chankiriorth, the CEO of BanhJi. Photo supplied
Sim Chankiriorth, the CEO of BanhJi. Photo supplied

The growth of BanhJi, Cambodia’s first fintech company

Last weekend, Moeun Nhean, special reports editor of The Phnom Penh Post, had a discussion with Sim Chankiriorth, the CEO of BanhJi. Mr Sim has over 14 years of experience in the finance industry as an executive, adviser and entrepreneur.

Tell us about BanhJi!
BanhJi is a financial technology (fintech) company seeking to be the financial operating engine for MSMEs by helping them with:
1. Ensuring compliance by getting their accounting & taxes done
2. Improving performance by getting important insights for informed decisions
3. Improving cash flow with better access to cash and financing.

What is fintech? What about BanhJi makes it fintech?
Financial technology (fintech) is the evolving intersection of financial services and technology. The lines are blurring, and it’s getting harder to know where technology ends and financial services begin. BanhJi focuses on two of fintech’s verticals, which are credit digitisation based on alternative data points and billings aggregation.

Since you established Banhji, how has the platform developed? Tell us about one of the most successful services that Banhji offers to its clients?
We have more than 900 MSMEs (Cambodia & Lao PDR) on our platform using our free online accounting software.

Who is your target audience? Does Banhji have any specific target clients or services?

Our main customer segment is Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises. However, working in strategic collaborative partnership with MFIs and banks is part of our core strategy. We have already secured our partnership MFIs, banks, and alternative financing startups. We will be able to announce the name of our partners next year.

What are your plans for 2018? And what is your vision of the future for Cambodia’s financial industry?
For 2018, we will focus on (a) enabling MSMEs’ invoice payment, (b) launching our targeted industry specific applications, (c) and strengthening our partnership with financial institutions.

Digital financing will play a significant role in our economic development. With the emergence of fintech in the Kingdom, we are witnessing significant transformations of the fundamental underpinnings of financial systems and processes. In addition, its emergence also has enabled growth in other sectors, particularly e-commerce and other tech startups.

Banhji mostly targets clients in the private sector. Do you have any plans for the government, departments or NGOs?
NGOs are in our product pipeline next year. We are working with two major donors to support their partners’ financial management.

What is the importance of fintech to support the economic growth? Can it provide stability or improve the financial/banking industry?.
The potential impact of digital finance applications would be over $2 billion in additional payment flows, more than $3 billion in additional saving mobilisation, and $1 billion in additional credit uptake.

Have you seen the impacts of fintech?
Money remittance (especially with Wing) is one of the most successful stories, and it has had a huge impact on our society and people.

Innovative MSMEs lending will be able to have a significant impact on our economy as well. This has been considered one of the highest priorities for Cambodia in the near future.

Do you have any comments to add or thoughts and would like to share as Banhji?
Fintech is not disrupting Cambodia’s financial services, it is joining its development.

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