This post is also available in: Khmer
Over the past 5 years, the market for mobile payment platforms has grown rapidly in Cambodia. The space is now crowded with start-ups, international players, and domestic companies all vying for a piece of the e-payment pie.
With the mobile money transfer market showing no signs of slowing, CryptoAsia has decided to offer an assessment of the major players. All of them offer customers the ability to pay bills, top up your phone, and transfer money. We will try to explain how each of them differs.
Here is a list of the top mobile payment systems currently available to denizens of Cambodia.
TrueMoney entered Cambodia in early 2016, bringing with them the same strong branding and marketing proficiency that they employ in neighboring countries.
Relying on widespread agent presence, TrueMoney already boasts over 5,000 locations throughout Cambodia. TrueMoney differentiates itself from the competition by offering payroll services and international transfers to select markets.
Ly Hour Group is a major Cambodian conglomerate with interests in real estate, microfinance, jewelry and currency exchange. As of 2016, you can include payment services on that list with the addition of Ly Hour Pay Pro to the group of subsidiaries.
Ly Hour has been working hard to add more agent locations to its existing Cambodia-wide currency exchange network. Strong name recognition and synergies from parallel business lines make it a good candidate to survive in this competitive market.
Pi Pay is making a big splash in Cambodia by offering attractive discounts (sometimes up to 50%) at partner merchants when you use the Pi Pay phone app. Unlike most others in the space, the company has few agent locations. Instead, they rely mostly on Pay&Go terminals for customers to top-up their PiPay wallet.
Pi Pay is attempting to engineer a self-contained ecosystem where withdrawing money is a less attractive option than spending it. This niche might play well in the increasingly retail-driven economy of Cambodia, where young consumers view money and spending in a broader social context.
Pay&Go, usually referred to as ‘PayGo,’ has been the most innovative mobile payment company in Cambodia to date. Mobile wallets can be topped up with cash at kiosks located mostly in Phnom Penh. Cash out options include MPay, SmarLuy, Tesjor, Truemoney, and eMoney.
The most exciting development from PayGo is a credit card linked to your PayGo account. Issued by ABA bank, PayGo customers have access to a virtual Mastercard that can be used to make online credit card payments anywhere in the world.
ABA Bank has emerged as one of the most respected banks in Cambodia. Their mobile app offers the standard payment services like bill pay and money transfer but with the additional feature of E-Cash.
E-Cash enables money transfer recipients to withdraw money from an ABA ATM without needing an ATM card. The recipient simply finds an ATM, enters his phone number and the E-Cash code generated by the sender, and withdraws cash. It’s convenient, but you must have an ABA bank account if you want to use the mobile app.
E-Money is the name of the mobile money transfer service offered by Metfone. It’s a natural fit for the phone company who commands one of the highest subscriber rates in Cambodia.
Recently, we cashed $249 out of our PayGo mobile wallet by sending to an E-Money agent in Phnom Penh. Using the PayGo app, we sent the funds to the E-Money agent, who received a text message with the pin code to claim the funds. The transfer fee from PayGo was $1.25 and the E-Money agent didn’t charge us anything above that.
Smart, another major mobile operator in Phnom Penh, offers mobile payments via its SmartLuy platform. Upgrade to a Gold account by verifying your identity and you will have the ability to transfer up to $1000 from your SmartLuy wallet. Cashing out can be done at one of the many SmartLuy Agents or Smart Shops located all over Cambodia.
Wing was the earliest provider of mobile payment solutions in Cambodia. As a consequence, the Wing network currently boasts the most extensive agent network staffed by some of the most experienced and knowledgeable agents.
You can get a pre-paid Visa card linked to your Wing account courtesy of their partnership with FTB bank. Business services provided by Wing include payroll processing, E-commerce payments and other merchant solutions.
Tesjor – An eCommerce restaurant app with a mobile wallet.
Bongloy – API based payment solution for online merchants
Acleda Unity – The mobile wallet service from Acleda Bank
Asia Wei Luy – A mobile payment service provider
In conclusion, there is no shortage of payment transfer options in Cambodia. How each service differentiates itself from the competition will likely determine who survives. Only time will tell, however, if any of them will survive in the age of Bitcoin.