Graphic Design & Website Development Industry, Useful Advice, Tips, and Other Articles.
May 2014

Emerging Ecommerce in Cambodia

You may have a great new website design but there are a couple of obstacles to overcome if you want to do online payments and ecommerce in Cambodia, either when the merchant or the customer is based in Cambodia.

A customer has one main obstacle, and that is the availability of credit cards and other forms of online payments that are well supported internationally, as useful as mobile phone payments and similar money transfer services are, they aren’t supported by international payment gateways and can’t be used to buy online without custom development. Credit cards are easy, if your market uses credit cards (such as for travel, tourism and hospitality, or digital purchases) then it can be a nice addition.

Receiving payments is another matter, a local bank has just recently (early 2014) started offering a merchant gateway and the tools to interface with it, but also requires some customisation. The simplest solution is something like PayPal or other like WorldPay or Google Checkout or since there is common support in ready made plugins. You can’t yet withdraw PayPal into a Cambodian bank account, so requires use of an international account somewhere (such as if you’re an expat, your home country or a neighbouring country),  some of the other options can withdraw to a Cambodian account but can be more costly. You can also process payments manually with a local bank, just as if you were taking the details over the phone.

The other main obstacle to online payments is delivery logistics, in that without a regular postal service it is difficult to ship any physical retail goods to a customer in Cambodia, and to do so would require operating a private delivery service. Along with common availability and stock complications, operating an online retail business with physical products has a lot of difficulties in Cambodia.

If your product is suited (digital products are great) and your market already buys online, then it is worth exploring, especially if you have the option to withdraw to an overseas account, and pay a subscription to a payment gateway.

Read my new post about my e-commerce website design experiences in the developing Cambodian market.


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Joe Ogden
Website Design & Development
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
[email protected]