Cambodia’s Cards and Payments Industry: Emerging Opportunities, Trends, Size, Drivers, Strategies, Products and Competitive Landscape

Date: 2015-09

“The Cambodian cards and payments industry, including debit and credit cards, registered positive growth during the review period, recording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.31%, and increasing from 464,047 cards in circulation in 2009 to 1.2 million by the end of 2013. In terms of transaction value, payment cards valued KHR3.7 trillion (US$915.2 million) in 2013, after registering a review-period CAGR of 30.89%. Favorable economic conditions, improved banking infrastructure, new products offered by banks, and growth in card payments at point of sale (POS) terminals all led to growth in card payments.

The average transaction value (ATV) in Cambodia was US$65.6, ranking 15th in Asia-Pacific in 2013. China recorded the highest ATV, with US$302.4, while New Zealand ranked lowest in Asia-Pacific with an ATV of US$46.3. Cambodia had the lowest card penetration in Asia-Pacific, with 0.1, and ranked 12th in Asia-Pacific in terms of frequency of use of payment cards, with 11.8 transactions per card. New Zealand recorded the highest frequency, with 146.1 transactions per card, followed by Australia with 96.6, South Korea with 44.7, and Singapore with 36.0.

In terms of transaction value, debit cards were the favored payment card in Cambodia in 2013, accounting for 96.9% of card payments, while credit cards accounted for 3.1%. A similar trend is expected over the forecast period. Debit cards are offered to everyone who opens a personal bank account, and banks are promoting these accounts to attract customers. ANZ Royal Bank, for instance, is promoting the Convenience Plus account, offering customers a Royal Debit Card with free international access and money transfer facility. These cards are issued free of charge and can be used to pay utility bills, although they are mostly used at ATMs to withdraw cash, rather than at POS terminals; ATMs accounted for 97.6% of debit card transactions in 2013, while POS terminals accounted for just 2.4%, in terms of transaction volume.

Banks are also taking initiatives to develop credit cards, and are conducting consumer awareness campaigns in association with Visa. Banks are aiming to ensure that consumers are ready to use credit cards by educating them on how to manage personal finances, and benefit from credit cards without getting into debt. In November 2013, Acleda Bank has launched its first Acleda Visa credit card, while Cambodian Bank has launched both Visa and Master Platinum cards. Other banks such as ANZ Royal Bank and CUBC offer added benefits, such as discounts on airport lounges and hotels.

As card transactions increase, so does card fraud, and banks are issuing cards with EMV technology to increase transaction security. CUBC Bank, for instance, implemented EMV security standards by installing ATMs that accept EMV-based transactions for all Visa-branded cards. In March 2014, Data Card Group collaborated with Visco (Cambodia) and Omega Computer Corporation to conduct EMV seminars in Cambodia. The seminar aimed educating banks and customers about the importance of EMV cards, risk management, benefits, and considerations during migration and verification security when authenticating debit and credit transactions at POS terminals and ATMs.”

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