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Payment gateways and BNPL development as Smile Shop and Sathapana sign partnership agreement

Cambodia’s leading e-commerce platform Smile Shop has linked with commercial lender Sathapana Bank to further the platform’s digital payment gateways and paving the way for ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) capabilities.

BNPL, also referred to as point-of-sale installment loans, allows short-term financing for consumers to make purchases and pay for them at a future date, often interest-free.

The two firms signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that outlined, Sathapana customers can now purchase more than 100,000 products in Smile Shop ranging from fresh produce, groceries, electronics, and lifestyle products with delivery options.

In addition, this collaboration allows Smile Shop users to easily open an online account anywhere through Sathapana Mobile using only the phone number and a Cambodian National ID, the MoU stated.

Jack Lee, CEO of Smile Shop told Cambodia Investment Review his platform linked with Sathapana Bank because of its ambitions on becoming a leading digital bank, adding, the bank is trying to build an eco-system for their mobile application.  

“We decided to link with Sathapana Bank because Smile Shop is a great solution for their digital eco-system,” Lee said.

While for us [Smile Shop] we also hope to get Sathapana Bank to join our platform not only as a payment gateway but also to offer financial service such as with ‘buy now, pay later’ capabilities,” Lee added.

Earlier this year the Japanese-owned commercial lender said it would align with a new focus, with the board of directors announcing Fung Kai Jin as the new CEO.

The Bank stated it needed to grow further and strengthen its base as a true commercial bank in terms of infrastructure, delivery channels, product lines, and customer services.

Cambodia’s e-commerce platforms have identified that they need to work better with local digital logistics infrastructure including both logistics and payment solutions.

Smile Shop has connected small-and medium-scale entrepreneurs with technical and logistical expertise through its e-commerce platform.

The company has also partnered with local microfinance institutions and banks – who already met central bank regulations – to offer e-installment option payments for its products.

Local vendors can now also access broader markets because of the extensive customer base of Smile Shop, now reaching over 1.5 million users around the country.

According to data analyst site Statista, revenue from the e-commerce market in Cambodia is projected to reach $251 million by the end of 2021, with an annual growth rate of 8.94% between 2021-2025.

The number of users of Cambodia’s e-commerce market is expected to reach approximately 7.8 million by 2025 and representing a user penetration of 44.1%, the site added.

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