Interview with Matthew Tippetts, Founder of Clik Payment
1) How long have you been living in Cambodia and what excites you about doing business here?
I’ve been coming to Cambodia since around 2010 and have been living here for now more than 11 years. What excites me is the fact that there’s a lot of opportunity. In the sectors that I’m in, they are hugely dynamic, and there’s a lot of innovation to come. Its relatively easy to differentiate still between competitors. FinTech is attractive from that point of view. Looking globally Southeast Asia is the most dynamic region. Being in Cambodia in the middle of that is hugely attractive.
2) You were recently elected as Chairman Digital and Technology Committee. How do you see the committee’s role in pursuing progressive agendas in these sectors?
The reality is when you look at the membership of EuroCham, we have close to 70 companies that should be covered by the Digital and Technology Committee. It’s a very wide dynamic sector that stretches across different industries. When you look at our members, we have partnerships with some of the leading institutions. Having a Financial Services subcommittee can consolidate initiatives in that sector, which is going to see a lot of changes and more investment over the next couple of years. There are 56 banks, 86 MFIs (including MDIs), and 33 PSIs, in addition to specialized banks, leasing companies and insurance companies, so expect more initiatives thanks to the growing involvement of our members.
3) With a foot in both the public and private sectors, could you describe the interplay between regulators and tech companies? What role does regulation play and how does it affect the rapid rise of technology?
Globally, it's natural that the regulator be always behind the curve, behind the innovators. The ones at the forefront of innovation come from the private sector. The role of the committee and EuroCham is an interesting one where we can be involved in helping to resolve certain issues while building stronger communication with key regulators and government entities.
It's about building strong relations with the ABC, the microfinance association, CAFT, the NBC, the Techo Startup Center, and Khmer Enterprise. We have an MoU with CADT, for example, and we want to take the lead to convert such MoUs into initiatives and impact while being complementary to these associations and government bodies.
4) You also have your own company, Clik. How do you intend to help Clik stand out in what is becoming a competitive mobile payment sector?
We still have to launch, and we recently received our license from NBC which is great. We still need to raise money from investors and we’re hoping to launch early next year. Our position has always been that payment is a very commoditized sector reflected by the amount of players. Regulators are taking initiatives to interoperability which is great. A key difference is what you do with data and how you can help businesses better serve their customers and grow their revenues.
There’s a data monetization side of things, and access to finance. We want to create a platform that acts as an enabler among lenders, microfinance banks, micro SMES, and those who need access to unsecured finance.
5) What are your goals for the next five years, both for the committee and Clik?
For the committee, we want to put in place MoUs with the key institutions and follow through with initiatives benefiting the sectors and supporting EuroCham members.
For Clik, I look at it in a straightforward way. We need to raise money, launch, and expand out of Cambodia. Our main objective is to create value by expertly managing our data, and scale across the region.