E-commerce development in Cambodia lags behind its neighbors but is speedily growing. Most transactions are settled through cash-on-delivery, raising concerns about security and costs. Other impediments include the high cost of electricity and a lack of trained ICT professionals. There is a growing number of online shopping websites that cater mostly to urban consumers. Social media, such as Facebook, is increasingly used as a platform for online shopping and media space. Cambodia enacted an e-commerce law in November 2019 that regulates domestic and cross-border e-commerce transactions in Cambodia and that also includes legal protections for consumers on e-commerce platforms.
Cambodians are adopting e-commerce both as consumers and merchants, and there is significant untapped market potential in the sector fueled by affordable mobile internet access with costs below the global average, high smart phone penetration, and a young, growing middle class. Of a population of 16.5 million, Cambodia boasts 121 percent mobile phone penetration (around 20 million subscribers) and 108 percent internet penetration (18 million subscribers) in 2022.
In Cambodia, digital expenditures as a share of consumer spending per capita reached 6 percent in 2021, almost the same as Asia’s average of 7 percent. Digital expenditure includes all revenues generated within the eCommerce, eTravel, eServices, and digital media markets. Cambodia’s revenue in the eCommerce market amounted to $970 million in 2021, accounting for 88.6 percent of digital expenditure in the country. The largest segment of the eCommerce market is fashion with $264 million of revenue. Revenue is expected to grow by 16.4 percent per annum, leading to a market volume of $1.8 billion by 2025.
Cambodia’s financial technology (FinTech) sector has developed rapidly over the past several years. Transaction value in the FinTech market amounted to $3.3 billion in 2021 and it is expected to grow at an annual rate of 19.5 percent resulting in market volume of $6.8 billion by 2025. The digital payment market reached approximately $3.2 billion in 2021. More Cambodians are using their smartphones for a variety of financial services, including QR code payments, cashless money transfers between e-wallets and bank accounts, mobile phone top ups, bill payments, ride-hailing, and purchases. Apps such as Nham24 and Food Panda allow users to order food for delivery and pay via integrated cashless payment systems. Both homegrown and international ride hailing apps are available and used extensively in urban areas, including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville.