E-payments to dethrone cash
While digital payments show great promise to drive economic growth and increase financial inclusion in Southeast Asia, targeted approaches that address local cultural barriers are key to the widespread adoption of e-commerce and e-payments, industry players said during the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Asean summit, which wrapped up on Friday.
“There is a clear correlation between the share of electronic payments and the opportunity for GDP growth,” Tim Murphy, general counsel and chief franchise officer for MasterCard, told The Post on the forum’s sidelines.
“With every 1 percent increase in the share of electronic payments of a country’s personal expenditure, you can see somewhere between a third and a half of a percentage point increase in GDP.”
However, the challenge according to Murphy is that the vast majority of Cambodians remain unbanked, with almost all daily transactions made in cash. He said that efforts to build a digital economy must begin with solutions tailored to the local market, where trust of online payments remains very low.