E-payments, a promotional key to Financial Inclusion in Cambodia in 2020

Updated On : july 2020

According to The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC)'s report of project Bakong Next Generation Payment System, the primary agenda of NBFC is financial inclusion, for that digital payments is one of the effective initiatives to provide digital banking services to consumers.

The digital and electronic payment services will help to reach the large unbanked population in Cambodia. Different e-payment options like e-wallets, internet banking, mobile banking, etc. With these services' consumer can open accounts, can make payments anytime anywhere in Cambodia. This will be a big step to encourage consumers in acquiring financial services.

As per the NBC statistics, the e-wallet accounts have increased to 64 % from the previous year to 5.22 million in 2019 and the number of deposit accounts has reached to 7.62 million within the same period. And money transfers by banks and payment service institutions (PSIs) went up to $57.99 billion in 2019.

Adoption of financial services by households, small and medium enterprises will help economic growth in the long run.

Let's have a look at different e-payment options in Cambodia in 2020:

  • Mobile Payments
    • TrueMoney Cambodia- It operates in Asia. It started its operations in Cambodia in the year 2016 and claims to have over 5000 locations throughout Cambodia. This application helps users for international and domestic money transfers, mobile phone top-ups and lifestyle benefits like bill payments.
    • Ly Hour Paypro (Veluy)- Ly Hour Paypro group's, line of business is real estate, microfinance, and currency exchange. In 2016, they started the money transfer and payment services. This application helps in money transfer in three currencies, allows companies to pay payroll, collecting fees, pay utility bills, loans, mobile top-ups, personal banking services, and enables customers to pay at the stores with Tap and Pay/Scan and Pay.
    • SmartLuy- It is a mobile operator in Cambodia, it offers mobile payments, money transfer and bill payments with its platform. It has a nationwide agent network, where one can deposit cash and withdraw cash for free.
    • Metfone- It offers eMoney with its mobile transfer service, mobile top-ups, app-based money transfers. With the help of mobile, web and POS platforms, the buyers and sellers can complete their financial transactions. eMoney with MetFone agents nationwide helps users to deposit or withdraw money.
  • E-wallets:
    • AEON Wallet Cambodia: The e-wallet is backed by AEON Specialized Bank Cambodia. It allows users to pay for items with merchant vendors and money can also be transferred via application. The application uses a QR Scan code or pin to be entered to verify the payment.
    • Dragonfly Cambodia: It is P2P (peer-to-peer) and e-wallet provider. They offer instant electronic remittances and payments.
  • Digital gateways payments:
    • ABA Bank (E-Cash & ABA PayWay): E-Cash feature helps in simple and secure money transfers by allowing withdraw money from an ABA ATM without the need for the ABA Bank Card. ABA PayWay allows local merchants to accept online payments and accepts payments from Mastercard, Visa, or UnionPay cards and supports USD and KHR currencies.
    • Ria Money Transfer: This mobile application helps customers to receive money from 166 countries and credit it directly to your ABA account 24/7.
    • Cathay United Bank Payment Gateway: The payment gateway system if based on MasterCard Internet Gateway Services. This payment gateway services accept cards like MasterCard, Visa Card and JCB Card.
    • ACLEDA Bank: The bank offers online payments with their E-commerce payment gateway. Their fintech application ACLEDA Unity ToanChet, helps their customers to do banking online. They recently launched cross border QR payment to facilitate cross border exchanges. They also launched a contactless debit card, ACLEDA UPI Card.
  • Cryptocurrency: The NBC said it would launch Bakong digital currency. Bakong is labelled a blockchain-based, P2P money transfer and payment platform.

The e-payments allows users to make cashless payments with the help of cards, mobile phones and the internet. It helps in increasing the speed of money transfer, convenience, reducing transaction costs.

The Innovation-focused institutions have started adopting new-age, contactless digital banking services like mobile banking, internet banking, e-wallets, video KYC, digital customer onboarding etc and are transforming the country's financial ecosystem. These contactless cashless services will also help in reducing the effects of COVID-19 in Cambodia.

In 2019 the total de facto population of Cambodia was 15.288 million. However, around 50 % of the population has access to at least one financial service i.e. either a bank account or borrowing account or an insurance account or an e-wallet account. The NBC for the last 20 years has been trying to bring the financial services to remote areas. As per the first half 2019 reports, the outstanding deposits in the BFSI is increased to 6.8 million accounts, and for the same period, 3 million people had outstanding loans. The customers using the payment services are 4 million users.

These initiatives by NBC is to encourage both business and consumers to adopt digital banking services and cashless e-payments. This will help in addressing the large unbanked population in the country.

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