Local publicly-listed Acleda Bank Plc has launched Acleda E-Shop, a state-of-the-art online marketplace and payment platform, accessible through the Acleda Mobile app.

The move aims to create a robust ecosystem to deliver new products for customers, and enable the public, business owners, as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to sell their products to a wider audience.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony on November 30, Acleda Bank president and group managing director In Channy said online shopping and other services are in high demand, becoming more and more necessary.

This is especially the case given the global context, and as more Cambodians use modern technologies in daily life, especially during Covid-19, he said.

“For the past 10 years, we’ve set up this digital mobile app infrastructure, which already makes it easy to pay. Today we’re establishing the E-Shop, incorporated into our existing mobile app,” he said, noting that one partner store would have more around 12,000 items for sale.

According to Channy, 11 million transactions amounting to $8 billion are made through the bank’s digital channels per month, or 400,000 to the tune of $270 million each day.

“Seeing the number of payments and transactions through banks to purchase goods and via other payment services, I decided to create another online marketplace that can make it easier for customers and the public to save time.

“Our goal is to capture more stores … we are preparing four more collaborations, so our aim is to have more stores join our platform to help meet the needs of customers, and for the public to be able to choose products according to their needs, through an easier, faster, more time-efficient and safer medium,” he said.

Mak Chamroeun, co-founder of Smile Shop, said digital banking is booming right now, and that launching an e-commerce platform is a “good thing” for marketplace-related companies.

He noted that Acleda Bank has millions of customers, but suggested it work with other online marketplaces with potential so that E-Shop can “run faster”.

“Smile Shop has partnerships with shops and has its own logistics system, so Acleda does not need to do this work on its own. Once it [the bank] is working with potential online marketplaces, it’ll be able to improve upon it [E-Shop] and also encourage its existing bank customers to be more active in digital payments.

“E-commerce platforms are befitting partners of digital banking providers. Building a good ecosystem through work with such an institution would give Acleda Bank a better edge against competitors,” Chamroeun added.

According to Channy, E-Shop comes in response to economic growth in Cambodia and the world, and will play an important role in promoting the sale of domestic products, especially to create a larger market for agricultural products.

“The SME sector is Acleda’s largest and most important customer,” he said, adding that agriculture makes up a sizeable chunk of the bank’s loan portfolio. “The E-Shop is important because we have a lot of agricultural products.”

“Some of our products are available in the European market, but in our country we don’t know much about them, so when the goods are placed on the E-Shop, customers could get to be more acquainted with them.

“The E-Shop will help to sell more of our products on the Cambodian market. The important thing is that all shop owners must ensure that their products are of good quality,” Channy said.