Embracing digitalisation and inclusivity

Poovenraj Kanagaraj

Mobile financial service provider Wing stays true to motto in adding value to Cambodian society

Wing (Cambodia) Ltd Specialised Bank has a reputation of being one of the most recognisable and trusted brand in the mobile money and electronic payment services market in the Kingdom.

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Since its launch in 2009, the mobile banking service provider has partnered with more than 30,000 merchants and industry leaders, such as Mastercard, Western Union, MoneyGram, Emirates and ABA Bank.

The agent-based business model has a nationwide network of more than 7,000 Wing Cash Xpress outlets providing financial access to Cambodia’s unbanked population all the way from Phnom Penh to Battambang.

“2009 was when Wing started and in 2012 the company turned profitable and has since then stayed profitable,” says chief executive officer, Manu Rajan.

With an expansive background in holding various positions in telcos in various countries in the African continent, Rajan took the helm of Wing (Cambodia) Ltd in late 2018 and has since raised its achievements.

“When the Royal Group took over in 2012, introducing the concept of agent based banking, this turned around the business,” says Rajan, who believes that users who still wanted to be able be involved in money transfers physically welcomed the idea.

The service involved in passing their cash to an agent located near to them who will then transfer the cash digitally to another agent located in a province and thanks to the digitalisation wave that took over Cambodia, this business strategy proved to be a success.

The agent based business modal has since evolved allowing Cambodians living overseas to perform cash transactions to their families living in the Kingdom through Wing’s international affiliations.

“Cambodians can now transfer cash to their families from more than 200 countries all over the world now,” pointed out Rajan. Staying true to its motto, Wing has played a role in making sure every one of its users is able to use Wing either through their riel bank account or their US dollar account. “40 percent of our transactions are done in riel but we also offer the choice to our users to create both accounts accessing different currencies or they can just choose either one,” says Rajan. He also indicates that it depends on the ecosystem.

According to Rajan, while a majority of customers are in the provinces, Phnom Penh for instance has a higher dominance when it comes to transactions done in the US dollar.

Wing’s streak in staying profitable throughout the years is not novel. Rajan points out that as the company has been able to stay profitable, that has allowed the company to add value to the lives of their users by focusing on delivering new services and new products to their users

“2019 was no different. It was a continuation of the journey the company has been on for the last 11 years,” says Rajan. He pointed out that Wing has successfully built an ecosystem that is being utilised by everyone, be it government bodies, industry players and residents of Cambodia. The mobile financial service has been successfully utilised by companies for supply chain payments and by microfinance institutions for loan collections. “This also includes utility bills and premium collections by insurance companies. The concept of partnerships and inclusiveness has become more global than ever for Wing,” says Rajan. “The growing partnerships with Wing and acclaimed partners are a testament to the continued growth Wing is experiencing in this growing market” the chief executive officer highlighted.

The question that remains is now that Wing is no longer just a money transfer company, what’s next? Rajan says there are different segments in society Wing can play a role in, be it micro small and medium enterprises or women entrepreneurs, Wing has a role to play in segments of society that are still struggling to have access to finance.

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