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

  • Mysterious century-old structure found at bottom of Angkor pond

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a mysterious 1,000-year-old structure of a wooden building at the bottom of a pond after the Angkor Wat temple’s conservation team completed restoring its northern cave. The deputy director at ANA’s Angkor International Research and Documentation

  • Cellcard announces Cambodia’s first use of 5G to help Kingdom during Covid-19

    Cellcard on Friday announced Cambodia’s first use of 5G for a telemedicine service at four locations across Phnom Penh to help the Kingdom’s most critically ill during the Covid-19 outbreak. Cellcard, which is the only 100 per cent Cambodian-owned and "Proudly Khmer" mobile network

  • Former CNRP activist nabbed for offering online English classes

    Authorities detained a high school teacher in Kampong Chhnang province on Thursday after he was caught conducting online classes despite the fact that schools had been ordered to close temporarily to prevent Covid-19 infections. Keo Thai teaches at Boribo High School in Kampong Chhnang and

  • Health ministry warns against using virus-testing machines

    The Ministry of Health has threatened legal action against anyone who publicised their test results after using COVID-19 rapid testing machines. The ministry said such machines were not even approved or recognised for use by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It said test the results

  • National Assembly approves two coal-fired power plants

    The National Assembly (NA) unanimously approved draft laws paving the way for the construction of two coal-fired power plants worth $1.665 billion to supply 100 per cent of electricity required in the Kingdom by 2025. An NA member said at the session that the plants will be located

  • The good and bad of credit growth

    In the last 10 years, the property and construction sectors have propelled Cambodia’s economy. But rising borrowings threaten to dampen its future unless something is done soon They say all good things must come to an end, perhaps not “the” end. A slowdown in real