Cambodia Has Its Own Mobile Payment App, But Will It Catch On Beyond Phnom Penh?
Pi Pay, although little-known outside of its native Cambodia, has scaled quickly to become a ubiquitous digital wallet solution and the first e-commerce app to gain real traction in a city where many residents still refuse to trust credit cards and banks.
Now the company wants to stamp its pink logo throughout Cambodia’s smaller towns and countryside, but it needs investment and faces the greater task of convincing the general population to trust digital money.
In the seven months since the company launched, Pi Pay signed up 1,700 merchants and saw 190,000 user downloads, said Pi Pay CEO Tomas Pokorny, which he considered a boon for the company. Using the app to buy fruit drinks at a Joma Cafe and Bakery in Phnom Penh’s business district, as we did, requires no effort: just a quick barcode scan. Pokorny admits it will take a while before the app covers the nation, but he hopes to see business owners running a corner store out of their Svay Rieng or Pailin province homes scanning the same barcodes in the near future.
“It’s all in the mindset,” he explained over a strawberry shake. “If I know there’s an institution that will provide me the same services and provide it cheaper, and it’s safer, then suddenly I’m incentivized to do it.”
Photo courtesy of aaron gilson.