Cambodia’s First Cashless Restaurant Ordering App Debuts

The rise of e-commerce is continuing in Cambodia with the launch of the first cashless mobile app for restaurant food orders, with sponsorship from heavyweights such as Coca-Cola and Wing.

Tesjor—which means “tourism’ in Khmer—will offer diners the ability to pre-order food for takeaway, delivery or dining-in from 85 partner restaurants, all without having to hand over any physical cash. 

A screengrab of the Tesjor app.

Developed by Cambodian software company Pathmazing, the free app was rolled out yesterday after a three-month testing stage, and includes discounts on purchases.

“There’s more and more people just eating out. You see everywhere in the city there’s restaurants after restaurants that are opening,” said Steven Path, the company’s founder and CEO.

Among the restaurants to sign up are global brands Domino’s Pizza and KFC, and Thai chain Amazon cafe, though the app currently only covers Phnom Penh.

While there are already apps offering cashless payments on the market, such as Little Fashion’s MBUY, Tesjor is the first offering e-payments for the food and beverage sector. Others are cash-on-delivery only.

Mr. Path said the app—available for Android and iOS—was five years in the making. For the first year, Tesjor will have the financial support of three sponsors—Coca-Cola, Cellcard and Wing. Restaurants will pay a commission on orders, Mr. Path said.

Customers can choose a range of payment options including PayWay, an internet-based system for Visa and Mastercard, while Wing will create a Tesjor e-Wallet, from which users can make purchases.

Tesjor plans to expand into Sihanoukville and Siem Reap and extend into other sectors,  such as a taxi booking service that is set to launch by the end of the year, Mr. Path said.

“If a tourist comes to Cambodia, they could download the app at Phnom Penh airport and top up with $500,” he said. “They can just walk around and go explore different places just with their smartphone to make all these purchases.”

Ear Uy, CEO of game development studio Sabay Osja, said Tesjor looked promising.

“There have been a few web-based services which deliver the same function…but the most attractive thing about Tesjor is the discount from the restaurants which other existing services have not yet offered,” he said.

Kem Bora, investment manager for Mekong Strategic Partners, said the app’s strength would be its unique multiple-payment options. 

“Based on our observations, more and more transactions will take place in the digital realm instead of cash,” he said. “The acceleration of digital payments will make way for new and innovative business models, particularly in the e-commerce space.”

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