Southeast Asia Globe - - Advertorial -

A year ago, in this pub­li­ca­tion, To­mas Poko­rny, CEO of Pi Pay, wrote an opin­ion piece un­der­lin­ing how im­por­tant part­ner­ships would be to the grow­ing suc­cess of Cam­bo­dia’s lead­ing cash­less pay­ment app.

“In rolling out Pi Pay as Cam­bo­dia’s first truly cash­less pay­ment app we have a very clear vi­sion that build­ing part­ner­ships with stake­hold­ers is essen­tial to our suc­cess. And we have a very broad view of who our stake­hold­ers are – not just the cus­tomers, mer­chants, banks, MFIs and gov­ern­ment agen­cies that are at the heart of our cash­less world, but also other fin­tech ser­vice providers who might look more like com­peti­tors in a tra­di­tional busi­ness sense,” he wrote then.

Fast for­ward a year and the vi­sion out­lined by Poko­rny has be­come a re­al­ity.

The main part­ner­ship, with its grow­ing cus­tomer base, has seen the Pi Pay app down­loaded 270,000 times in the last year with close to US$100 mil­lion in trans­ac­tions pro­cessed through the app.

Part­ner­ships with mer­chants mean Pi Pay can be used in over 2,100 lo­ca­tions across Cam­bo­dia, with new part­ners be­ing added ev­ery day.

Part­ner­ships with over­seas fin­tech giants like Ali­pay and WeChat have opened up new pos­si­bil­i­ties for Pi Pay mer­chants to ser­vice the grow­ing num­ber of Chi­nese vis­i­tors to the King­dom.

Part­ner­ships with lo­cal banks and MFIs con­tinue to ex­pand - with ACLEDA, Satha­pana and FTB soon to join ABA, AMK and Am­ret as Pi Pay part­ners, en­abling app users to move money seam­lessly around the coun­try through the ex­ten­sive branch net­works of these pres­ti­gious fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

And part­ner­ships with gov­ern­ment agen­cies have not only seen Pi Pay be­ing fully li­censed as a Pay­ment Ser­vice Provider but have also opened up a range of pos­si­bil­i­ties for gov­ern­ment fees and pub­lic trans­porta­tion pay­ments through a newly-minted part­ner­ship with the Min­istry of Pub­lic Works and Trans­port.

“It’s been a busy but sat­is­fy­ing first year for us as we have rolled out this amaz­ing piece of tech­nol­ogy that has cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of young, tech-hun­gry Cam­bo­di­ans and even a more con­ser­va­tive pop­u­la­tion which has worked with cash all their lives,” says Poko­rny.

“The qual­ity of the re­la­tion­ships we have built with all our stake­hold­ers re­ally stands out, and in just over a year, we have cre­ated this re­mark­able ecosys­tem which in­cludes ev­ery­one from our mer­chants and cus­tomers, through banks and MFIs to gov­ern­ment agen­cies and in­bound vis­i­tors from China,” he adds.

The cash­less pay­ment and e-com­merce busi­ness in Cam­bo­dia is evolv­ing at break­neck speed, with new lo­cal and for­eign play­ers en­ter­ing the mar­ket all the time.

It’s a healthy re­minder, Poko­rny says, that suc­cess will not come by rest­ing on the lau­rels of Pi Pay’s stel­lar first year of op­er­a­tions.

“No mat­ter how well we have done un­til now, we un­der­stand that app users are a rest­less de­mo­graphic with a keen eye for what is new, what is cool and what is work­ing best for their life­styles,” he says.

“This is why we op­er­ate in a state of con­stant evo­lu­tion - adding new fea­tures to the app and build­ing new part­ner­ships that can bring even more value to all our users.”

Tick­et­ing for events, health in­sur­ance and peer-to-peer lend­ing are among the many new ser­vices that Pi Pay is de­vel­op­ing to en­sure the app con­stantly evolves with the chang­ing de­mands of its cus­tomers.

In­evitably, with such rapid changes un­der­way in Cam­bo­dia’s dig­i­tal econ­omy, there will al­ways be room for im­prove­ments and en­sur­ing more of the King­dom’s tra­di­tion­ally un­banked pop­u­la­tion are brought along for the jour­ney.

“The in­dus­try as a whole needs to do more to ed­u­cate con­sumers about the dig­i­tal econ­omy, about the ad­van­tages of cash­less and, of course, about data se­cu­rity,” says Poko­rny.

To push these goals Pi Pay is once again turn­ing to a part­ner­ship model - the com­pany is now lead­ing the charge to set up an in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tion rep­re­sent­ing the in­ter­ests of the Cam­bo­dian fin­tech sec­tor.

“Five years ago it would have been al­most ab­surd to think of form­ing a fi­nance and tech­nol­ogy as­so­ci­a­tion in Cam­bo­dia - with just a few lo­cal play­ers be­gin­ning to take root. When we held our first ex­ploratory meet­ing last month to form the as­so­ci­a­tion, there were rep­re­sen­ta­tives of more than 70 com­pa­nies there. It re­ally has come a long way,” says Poko­rny.

Pi Pay CEO To­mas Poko­rny pens agree­ment with Min­istry of Pub­lic Works and Trans­port, as Min­is­ter Sun Chan­thol looks on

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