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 recently published report on Cambodia Consumer Payment Attitudes, 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% year-on-year, the report shows. In terms of transaction numbers, the growth was reported at 58%.
According to Visa’s study, a third of Cambodians expect that digital payments will continue to gain popularity compared to cash, while 54% of respondents believe that the economy can go fully cashless within the next seven years.
Chum Monika, Visa’s Cambodia Country Manager, said that Cambodians are much more tech-savvy now compared to ten years ago and that: “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.”
Visa’s Chum Monika speaks during a press conference about Visa’s new report
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 in the country – twice as many as when the technology was launched.
In order to spur digital payments, Visa has partnered with more than 30 financial institutions to launch digital payment services in Cambodia. According to Chum, “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.”
In early June, a report on Cambodia’s FinTech environment reported that there was huge space for growth in terms of financial technology innovations in the country since only 3% of Cambodians are currently using credit cards and 78% have no bank account at all.
According to the report, there are more than 50 FinTech startups in Cambodia, with cashless payments and digital banking among the leading segments. However, Chea Serey, Director General of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), noted that the country’s fintech sector has yet to evolve into one that spurs more demand for digital transactions. She noted that the central bank is committed to working closely with local industry players to push FinTech developments and to allow the finance segment to make a bigger contribution to Cambodia’s economic growth.