UK-based cryptocurrency start-up Electroneum Ltd (ETN) on Friday unveiled its new partnership with the Kingdom’s leading mobile operator Cellcard in its latest move to obtain a foothold in Southeast Asia.
The partnership will allow ETN app users to top up their balances using its native token, which is the world’s first cryptocurrency compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-money Laundering (AML) regulations.
As part of the accord, Cellcard will stock their shops across the Kingdom with one million Electroneum M1 smartphones.
ETN founder and CEO Richard Ells said in an announcement that Cambodia is part of the company’s business expansion strategy in Southeast Asia.
The Kingdom’s young population is the main asset for the firm in bringing the new technology, he said.
“Cellcard currently has more than three million users in Cambodia as they have been around for more than 23 years. They are a Khmer-owned and award-wining company.
“We are very proud to work with them. Cellcard is committed to bringing new opportunities which can improve the lives of the Cambodian people and they are eager to work with us.
“Cambodia is the sixth fast growing in the world and has a very young population which is fascinated with new technology.
“Cambodia is our first foothold in the region and I would like to say that Electroneum is one of the technologies that can change and enhance people’s lives across Southeast Asia, especially in the conjunction with any platforms that we just brought into the market,” Ells said.
Cellcard on Monday said with the ETN App, Cellcard users can earn ETN rewards of up to $3 per month, which they can then convert into ETN tokens and top up their Cellcard accounts.
Last year, Visa Inc’s 2018 Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study noted the rapid rate at which Cambodians are embracing digital payments.
In 2017, it said, the number of digital purchases made using Visa cards grew 58 per cent from 2016, with the total value rising 43 per cent.
Of the Cambodians surveyed in the study, 79 per cent said electronic payments are likely to be used in supermarkets within the next seven years, 61 per cent said the same for large shopping malls and 49 per cent for retail chains and convenience stores.
Some 24 per cent expressed their interest in mobile payments, and roughly one third in contactless payments.
The study said health and fitness, retail, entertainment and travel are the top categories that respondents would most likely make transactions via mobile apps.
Data from the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) shows that 20.8 million Sim cards were registered during the first half of last year, up 9.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2018.
Mobile and fixed internet users increased 31.6 per cent to 15.8 million during last year’s first six months – up from 12 million in the same period in 2018, the data shows.
In May, the TRC said there were 13.94 million mobile internet service subscribers and 181,036 fixed internet service subscribers. The number of fixed phone users was 83,366.