Visa Inc, a global leader in digital payments, says Cambodia will see a dramatic increase in cashless transactions in the next seven years.
In its report Cambodia’s Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes, launched yesterday, the company finds that the rate at which Cambodian consumers are embracing digital payments is remarkable.
In 2017, the total value of purchases made through digital payments – using Visa cards – grew by 43 percent year-on-year, the report shows. In terms of transaction numbers, the growth was reported at 58 percent.
According to the study, a third of Cambodians expect that digital payments will continue to gain popularity compared to cash, while 54 percent say the economy can go fully cashless within the next seven years.
Chum Monika, Visa country manager, said Cambodians are much more tech-savvy now compared to ten years ago.
“Electronic payments are very much related to internet penetration and technology know-how. Thus, given the rate at which Cambodians are currently adopting new technologies, we expect cashless payments to boom in the country.”
Figures from the Telecommunications Regulator Cambodia show that internet users (fixed and mobile) reached 13.6 million by the end of 2018.
Twenty-four percent of those surveyed in the study said they were interested in mobile payments, while roughly one third claimed to be interested in contactless payments.
The study also found that health and fitness, retail, entertainment, and travel are the top categories in which respondents are likely to use mobile apps to conduct payments.
A third of Cambodians also showed interest in making payments by scanning a QR code – a technology Visa launched in Cambodia late last year in partnership with various banks. QR payments are now accepted in more than 1,320 outlets – twice as many as when the technology was launched.
The company has so far teamed up with about 30 financial institutions to launch digital payment services in Cambodia.
“Given the country’s strong economic growth, it stands to reason that they also expect to see the country’s payment systems develop rapidly, and at Visa, we’re excited to be working with financial institutions, merchants, and consumers to turn these expectations into reality,” Ms Monika said.
The Asian Development Bank forecasts that the Cambodian economy will expand by 7 percent this year.
“We’re excited to see the enthusiasm demonstrated by Cambodians towards the adoption of digital payments. We’re committed to working with the government and our banking partners to introduce new payment innovations that deliver faster, more convenient and more secure ways to pay and be paid for everyone in Cambodia,” she added.
The local fintech industry is still at the very early stages of development in the Kingdom, growing at a rapid pace, but so far limited to the banking sector, particularly remittances and payments, said Chea Serey, director general of the National Bank of Cambodia.
Speaking to Khmer Times, she said NBC is looking forward to closer interaction with industry players.
“We will continue to build the infrastructure and the regulatory framework to keep up with innovation,” she said.