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Singapore Fintech start-up enters Sihanoukville

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Preah Sihanouk province has seen 1,355 construction projects approved between January 2017 and May this year. YOUSOS APDOULRASHIM

Singapore Fintech start-up enters Sihanoukville

Singapore-based fintech start-up Fincy on Wednesday announced the expansion of its cashless payment system to Sihanoukville to tap into the southwestern coastal city’s ever-widening business and investment landscape.

The move is in line with the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC’s) recommendations to shift to digital payments and avoid contracting Covid-19, Fincy said.

In March, the NBC urged government ministries, financial institutions and the public to conduct cashless payments via electronic systems where possible to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Fincy said it entered the Kingdom on January 30 after receiving a Payment Services Institution licence from the government.

Exceeding its expectations, it now boasts 600 merchants in Phnom Penh alone and a rapidly growing app user base, cementing a foundation of trust with locals, it said.

Fincy offers a “highly-functional” digital wallet that provides payments, transfers and payroll functions, powered by secure and transparent blockchain technology, it added.

“To better serve this growing demand, Fincy is launching in Sihanoukville with a local agent system. Local Fincy merchants have the opportunity to convert to Fincy agents if they pass certain requirements set by the Fincy board.

“This network of agents will stimulate growth in the local city and help existing merchants scale their businesses by leveraging the power of the Fincy app, which will strengthen momentum and sustain growth and development,” Fincy said.

Zwan Ross Lee, a top management executive of Fincy in the Kingdom, noted that the business and investment climate in Sihanoukville remains vibrant in the face of the lingering Covid-19 pandemic and continues to bear a lot of opportunities for growing enterprises.

Lee said: “After a brief period of economic stall brought on by the Covid-19 crisis, Sihanoukville’s economy is coming back strong, and we believe growth will accelerate over the next two to three years.

“While our expansion plans have always had Sihanoukville prominently featured as a priority, we needed to expand and open our office earlier than we expected.

“We are fully prepared to provide support to our merchant network and help ensure their businesses succeed, and for our user base to entrust more of their transactions to us.

“Fincy is here to ensure businesses succeed. We are proud to be here and to be a part of Cambodia’s exciting economic story,” he said.

Fincy on June 12 said it had received $11 million from its parent company GBCI Ventures Pte Ltd for its expansion in Southeast Asia.

The number of active e-wallet accounts in the Kingdom hit 5.22 million last year, a marked 64 per cent surge from 2018, the NBC reported on June 17.

The volume of money transfers via banks and Payment Service Institutions (PSIs) constituted $57.99 billion last year, or 213 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), data compiled by the NBC showed.

Meanwhile, mobile payments via banks and PSIs equalled 22.9 per cent of 2019 GDP.

Sihanoukville is the provincial capital of Preah Sihanouk, which has seen 1,355 construction projects approved between January 2017 and May this year, valued at $7,099,417,277 and covering 13,107,209sqm, provincial data show.

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