Reporting tremendous growth in the number of cards issued in the country as well as in the number of transactions, UnionPay has recently revealed that Cambodia is the market in Southeast Asia where it is growing the fastest.
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According to the China-based company’s most recent report, the number of transactions performed by Cambodians using UnionPay cards nearly double between 2016 and 2018 due, to a large degree, to the rising number of Cambodians vacationing abroad.
Transactions performed with locally issued cards, both at home and abroad, grew by 49 percent during the first ten months of the year, said Vincent Ling, deputy general manager of UnionPay International Southeast Asia.
He said this makes the Kingdom UnionPay’s fastest growing market.
“We have doubled the number of cards issued which has given us enough momentum for that tremendous growth in transactions,” Mr Ling said.
The top travel destinations for Cambodian UnionPay card users are China, Thailand, and Singapore, he said, adding that they mostly use the card to buy products wholesale, as well as pay for jewelry, dining and accommodation.
While outbound tourism is a main factor in transaction growth, Mr Ling said they are now working with companies in Cambodia to move the country towards a cashless society by luring consumers into using more electronic payment methods.
The number of transactions by foreigners using UnionPay cards in the Kingdom has also seen explosive growth, rising by more than 54 percent from January to October, Mr Ling said.
“The two pillars of the Cambodian economy are textiles and tourism. The country’s tourism sector has been growing significantly, which has allowed us to grow too.
“We are growing fast in Cambodia because we deliver distinct value by providing cost-effective solutions to the banks that we work with,” Mr Ling said. “We focus on innovative products … We are one of the few companies in the world that offer QR code-based payment methods.”
Having entered the local market in 2008, UnionPay is now accepted by 90 percent of point-of-sale (POS) systems and 80 percent of ATMs in the country.