Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Local users take tentative steps into the digital world

Local users take tentative steps into the digital world

Shoes produced by the international brand Nike placed on display at a shop in Phnom Penh in 2010.
Shoes produced by the international brand Nike placed on display at a shop in Phnom Penh in 2010. Pha Lina

Local users take tentative steps into the digital world

A new study by global market research firm Kantar TNS has shown that Cambodians are both increasingly adventurous and sceptical internet users, becoming more willing to explore online payment options but more wary of their digital lives being tracked.

According to the firm’s Connecting Life report, Cambodians are more cynical toward global brands than other mobile-first markets in Southeast Asia, with around 40 percent pledging their faith in big names.

When it comes to online activity, Cambodians have shown a rise in distrust of companies’ use of their personal information compared to the same survey last year, when only 22 percent of internet users were aware they were being digitally tracked.

This year, 41 percent of Cambodians admitted they were actively worried about how brands might be using their personal information – nearly twice the percentage as in neighbouring Thailand or Vietnam.

Eelco Dijkhuizen, general manager of Kantar TNS in Cambodia, commented that brands would have to be careful in the future in order to maintain trust in the Kingdom.

“Brands need to make sure that they do not become complacent with their digital marketing, use personal data wisely to deliver a true value exchange and subsequently maintain the level of trust that they have built,” he said.

Regardless of a mounting distrust in companies collecting personal information, Cambodians are more open to the internet’s possibilities than ever before. The report found that locals were more willing to explore new outlets available to them than others in the region, with nearly half of the population happy to use online customer service options like chatbots.

This mobile-first environment in the Kingdom has also led to a greater acceptance of mobile payment options, with 38 percent of Cambodians willing to purchase goods through mobile payment companies like Pay Go and Pi Pay.

According to Anthony Galliano, CEO of Cambodian Investment Management, the trend of online payment will likely continue to grow in Cambodia.

“There has historically been an absence of payment systems that facilitate online transactions, and barely any market penetration of credit cards in the Kingdom, [but] that is rapidly changing,” he said.

He added that while payment processors are “quickly transforming the market”, new licensing structures laid out by the National Bank of Cambodia will encourage new entrants to the market that will “progressively remodel payments from cash to digital”.

Tomas Pokorny, CEO of Pi Pay, said that Pi Pay’s services had quickly become popular in Cambodia because the largely cash-based economy provided his company a clean slate for entering the market.

While he noted the importance of remaining vigilant in protecting personal information, he also urged users not to be too wary of online businesses.

“People are happy to share a lot of information with social media platforms, yet voice concern at what companies might be doing with this information,” he said.

“So there is certainly room for increasing awareness of the realities of online safety and privacy, how to keep your information secure and the great lengths that digital companies go to ensure user safety.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Second Hungary business forum set for H2

    Cambodia has asked Hungary to provide GSP- (Generalised System of Preferences) Plus facilities for when the Kingdom sheds its least-developed country (LDC) label, as the two countries prepare to hold a second business forum in the second half (H2) of this year to expand trade

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,

  • Nearly 50 states join Kun Khmer Federation, all set for training

    In a little over a week, the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) has accepted membership requests from 20 new nations, in addition to the exiting 29. The sudden influx of international recognition stems from the Kingdom’s successful introduction of Kun Khmer to the 32nd Souheast Asian (