Malaysia-based Silverlake Axis is trying to tap into the flourishing Cambodian financial sector that is ready to welcome new financial technology players to infuse innovative ideas to embolden its domestic industry.
Silverlake Axis, which specialises in providing banking technology solutions, organised a workshop themed “Connecting to the World of Fintech”at the Malaysian embassy in Phnom Penh on October 30, for the banking community in the Kingdom.
Cambodia is prepared to seize the fintech buzzword. Mobile banking services, real time money transfer and e-payment are crowding the financial ecosystem, as dozens of young home-grown start-up firms strive to bring financial inclusion – especially to the unbanked segment.
But the fintech sphere is still at an infancy stage according to industry experts but likely to take off in a big way in the coming years as the government and private sector work in tandem to promote efficient financial services to far-flung provinces.
Room for growth
“FinTech development in Cambodia is still at its nascent stage where most of the initiatives are observed only in the banking sector, especially in the payment and remittance operations.
“Therefore, I think progress could be made faster when fintech ecosystems are more developed and systematically support each other. In fact, many of the necessary elements for the development of fintech ecosystems already exist in Cambodia,” said Dr Khou Vouthy, deputy director-general, Central Banking Directorate of the National Bank of Cambodia, in his keynote address at the workshop.
Certainly, Cambodia has taken a lead in the digital payment system and the central bank is ambitious to power the fintech ecosystem in order to serve the growing young tech-savvy population in the country.
Robust financial sector
With about 40 commercial banks and 78 microfinance institutions operating side by side in the Cambodian economy to provide finance to emerging enterprises, the infusion of high-end technology could be the order of the day.
“There is also a growing encouragement for banks to improve the customer experience via technology and digitisation – to put effort towards addressing customer demand for not only effective online banking tools – but to streamline processes as well, to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. As such, we see a bright future for fintech in Cambodia, “ said H.E. Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim, Ambassador of Malaysia to Cambodia in his welcoming speech.
Cash remains the dominant force – accounting for about 70 per cent of transactions across the country.
Speaking at the event, Andrew Tan, Group Managing Director of Silverlake Axis added: “The rise of fintech, the shift in consumer demands and the pervasiveness of data have altered the landscape with every one jumping on the bandwagon of digital banking transformation.
“We recognise that banks have evolved over the years with their own unique legacy systems environments. Having been in the market for 30 years, we are uniquely well positioned to help banks migrate from their legacy environments to the digitally enabled new aged platforms”.
The company offers solution platforms that cater to most banking needs –the Straight Through Banking platform, Mobius and Symmetri - all aimed to improve efficiency and enhance delivery to consumers.