Results from FinScope Consumer Survey Kingdom of Cambodia 2015

Phnom Penh, 12 July 2016. FinMark Trust released the results of the first FinScope Consumer Survey Kingdom of Cambodia 2015 today. The FinScope Survey, developed by FinMark Trust, is a research tool to assess financial access in a country and to identify the constraints that prevent financial service providers from reaching the financially under- and un-served people. The FinScope Survey is a nationally representative survey of how individuals source their incomes and how they manage their financial lives. It also provides insight into attitudes and perceptions regarding financial products and services.

To date, FinScope Consumer Surveys have been conducted in 24 countries including Cambodia. The FinScope Consumer Survey Cambodia 2015 is a partnership between National Bank of Cambodia, UNCDF, FinMark Trust, Cenfri, UNDP, and the National Institute of Statistics (NIS).

Further details about the survey can be accessed here.

Below are some of the highlights from the 2015 survey, conducted between November 2015 and January 2016, with a national representative sample of 3150 adults aged 18 years and older.


In Cambodia, 75% of the adult population reside in rural areas with 56% having primary education or less and 13% with no formal education. The personal monthly income for 41% of adult Cambodians is 400,000 KHR (≈$100) or less with over half of these adults earning less than 200,000 KHR (≈$50) per month. The main source of income for 24% of adult Cambodians is through the formal sector which includes the private and public sectors as well as formal self-employment. 25% of adults obtain an income from the informal economy, while 10% are dependent on remittances.

Medical costs pose a challenge for 42% of adult Cambodians with two in five adults going without medical treatment or medicine due to a lack of cash. At least 40% of the population skipped a meal because of a lack of money to buy food. About two out of three adults reside in households that use firewood as the main source of energy for cooking.

Financial Inclusion Overview

The results show that the formal financial inclusion rate in Cambodia is at 59% while 29% of adults are financially excluded. Financial inclusion is higher amongst females (73%) than males (69%) and higher in urban areas (74%) than rural areas (69%). Microfinance institutions are commonly used (24%) as opposed to banks (17%).

Financial Capability

The survey reveals that 57% of the population have difficulty keeping up with financial commitments. Of the 14% of the population who needed more information on how to manage money, 62% desired education on how to save, 45% wanted information on how to invest and 30% wanted to learn about budgeting.

Adults seem to mainly trust banks (93%) and microfinance institutions (69%). In order to pay for planned major expenses, 76% of the population used savings while 50% relied on money from family and friends to cover such expenses.


The results reveal that 83% of adults are not banked. Of those who are not banked, 69% claimed to not need it, while 10% cannot maintain a minimum balance and 9% do not understand how banks work. This may well be related to lower educational attainments and low financial education levels.

Only 17% of the population are banked. Of those who are banked, some of the products that drive banking are savings accounts at 38%, debit card/ATM (37%) and personal loan account (25%).

Savings and Investments

The results show that 56% of Cambodians were not saving at the time of the survey. Of those who were not saving, 86% claimed to have no money to save after living expenses and 30% have no income/money to save at all related to lower income levels for the mass population of adults.

The 44% of adults who save mainly do so for developmental reasons such as education, buying land or farming equipment. Of those who are currently saving, some of the mechanisms used are saving in a secret place or at home (51%), in the form of cattle or livestock (31%), and jewellery or gold (21%). Investments mainly take the form of buying livestock (15%) and gold or jewellery (13%) for generating a profit through sale later.

Credit and Borrowing

The survey indicated that 58% of the population do not borrow. Of those who do not borrow, 63% fear debt, 39% are concerned that they would not be able to pay it back, while 38% claimed that they do not need to borrow.

Of the 42% of the adult population who borrow, 77% mainly do so for developmental reasons. Most borrowers (54%) use microfinance institutions (MFIs) as a lending source while 22% borrow from family and friends. Only 14% of those who borrow use a bank. The results show that rural adults access more credit (54%) than urban adults (47%)

Insurance and Risk Management

The results show that 95% of adult Cambodians do not have any type of insurance covering risk. Although majority of adults that were surveyed claimed to face risks, the main barriers to the uptake of insurance are lack of awareness and knowledge of the benefits of insurance. Of those who did not have insurance, 39% have not heard about insurance while 36% claimed to not need it.

Only 5% of adult Cambodians have insurance of which 32% is mainly for funeral fund, 27% for solidarity system and 26% for medical aid/health fund.


The survey indicates that 33% of adults received money and 22% sent money in the last 12 months, with more females receiving money (36%) than males (31%). Remitting through other formal non-bank channels was at 36%, while only 3% used banks to remit. 56% of the adult population do not remit.

Mobile Money

Mobile money services are used by 36% (3.6 million) of the population. Of those who use mobile money services, 98% use it to remit while only 4% use it to transact (pay utility bills, buy airtime etc.). Of the 64% of the population who do not use mobile money services, 36% find it complicated, 33% have not thought about it, while29% claimed to not have enough information about it. Mobile money is the highest driver for remittances and other formal category being the most widley used financial service channel/medium by adults.


Editorial Contact

Obert Maposa


Kingstone Mutsonziwa

FinMark Trust
Tel: 011 315-9197

About FinMark Trust

FinMark Trust (FMT) is an independent trust established in 2002 with the objective of making markets work for the poor. Initial core funding was provided by UKaid from the Department for International Development (DFID) through its Southern Africa office. Recently additional funders have come on board including the UNCDF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the MasterCard Foundation as well as private and public institutions at country level. FinMark Trust’s purpose is ‘Making financial markets work for the poor, by promoting financial inclusion and regional financial integration’. FinMark Trust does this by conducting research to identify the systemic constraints that prevent financial markets from reaching out to these consumers and by advocating for change on the basis of research findings. Please visit for more information.


FinScope is an evidenced based research tool developed by FinMark Trust and aims at filling the information gap in financial markets within most developing countries. Its purpose is to establish credible benchmarks on the use of, and access to, financial services. It is designed to highlight opportunities for innovation in products and delivery. FinScope Consumer Surveys have been completed in 24 countries. This allows for cross-country comparison and sharing of findings which are key in assisting on-going growth and strengthening the development of financial markets.