Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom’s prospects for fintech discussed

Kingdom’s prospects for fintech discussed

Kingdom’s prospects for fintech discussed

While financial technology, or fintech, has made little traction so far in Cambodia, panellists at a conference in Phnom Penh on Friday expressed confidence that the sector was poised for rapid growth.

Speaking at the Inspire Asean event, Tomas Pokorny, CEO of mobile payment platform Pi Pay, insisted Cambodia was ready for a rapid uptake of digital services.

“People say the Cambodian market is not ready for fintech companies to enter, and that makes me upset,” he said. “Cambodia has a lot of potential.”

Brad Jones, CEO of Myanmar-based money transfer venture WaveMoney, said while most of Cambodia’s population is unbanked, this should not be seen as an impediment for fintech companies to grow. On the contrary, the nascent market is full of possibilities.

“We only have 20 percent banking penetration in Cambodia, [as] cash dominates here,” he said. “However, Cambodia is a significant market [and] it is a great market to try out new things and see how they work.”

The increase in smartphone use across the country, with nearly 50 percent of the population owning a device as of 2016, is bringing Cambodians into an age of digitisation, explained Hong Samarkkeenich, regional sales director for the Singapore-based credit-determining software company Lenddo.

“Many underserved people are coming online,” Samarkkeenich said while urging financial institutions to embrace fintech’s market potential to reach out to Cambodia’s largely unbanked provincial communities.Citing a report by the Asian Development Bank that was released earlier this year,

Sim Chankiriroth, founder of accounting software company BanhJi, said he believes that fintech could dramatically boost economic activity by adding more than $2.4 billion in additional credit uptake.

“What we see here is potential [and that] the infrastructure is ready,” he said.

Pokorny stressed that companies should view Cambodia’s nascent market and challenges not as obstacles, but as signs for potential. He encouraged more firms to help contribute to the evolution of the market.

“We cannot [change the financial capacity in Cambodia] by ourselves,” he said, adding that there was plenty of room for competition. “We look at cash as our main competitor in Cambodia.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants