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Indonesia to Launch Retail Payment System

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Indonesia’s central bank, Bank Indonesia (BI), has continued its innovative initiatives by launching the long-awaited BI-Fast, a real-time retail payment system infrastructure, to meet public demand for fast, mobile, secure and low-cost transactions. BI-Fast was established to serve industrial consolidation and end-to-end integrated digital economy and finance (EKD), a national step toward realising the Indonesia Payment System Blueprint (BSPI) 2025 and to meet public demand for a fast, easy, affordable, safe, and reliable payment system, according to BI Governor Perry Warjiyo.

BI-FAST is a national retail payment system that allows people to make payments using a variety of instruments and payment channels in real-time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Real-time transaction settlement at the bank and customer levels, 24/7 availability, real-time validation, and notification, use of a proxy address as an alternate solution recipient account number, and reliable security features such as fraud detection and an anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) system are just a few of the highlights of BI-FAST. Individual credit transfer services are expected to be available by the end of 2021.

The BI National Clearing System (SKNBI) was also established in place of BI-Fast, which has yet to fully meet public demand for a fund transfer service due to service time constraints (in line with window time), which has lowered the convenience of completing non-cash transactions.

The new BI-Fast payment system was scheduled to be operational in the second week of December, with the initial phase focusing on individual credit transfers. Following that, BI-Fast services would be expanded in stages, including bulk credit, direct debit, and payment requests. By providing an alternative to the existing national payment system infrastructure, BI-Fast is projected to boost the national retail payment system.

Bank Indonesia has set five policies to carry out BI-Fast:

  1. BI-Fast is open to banks, non-bank institutions (LSB), and other parties as long as they meet the general and specific criteria set by BI.
  2. 22 participants will be selected for the first batch in December 2021 and 22 more for the second batch in January 2022.
  3. Participants will be able to provide BI-Fast infrastructure independently, sub-independent (affiliation), or sharing among participants/3rd parties following the pertaining requirements.
  4. BI-Fast’s maximum amount per transaction will be capped at Rp 250 million and is subject to periodic evaluation.
  5. The BI-Fast price scheme from BI to participants is set at Rp 19 per transaction, and from the participants to customers is set at Rp 2,500 maximum per transaction, which is subject to periodic review.

According to the governor, BI continues to strengthen policy synergy and the implementation of BI-Fast with industrial players, all while integrating the national digital economy and finance and providing a fast, easy, safe, and reliable payment system to speed up economic recovery, spur economic growth, and increase financial inclusion. According to Perry, the current economic digitalisation drive “has permeated practically every element of our life.”

Consumption patterns have evolved to the use of digital platforms, necessitating a mobile, rapid, economical, and secure payment option.” The unexpected and long-term COVID-19 epidemic has presented new obstacles as well as opportunities. Wider digitalisation is one of the potentials, which is thought to be the key to accelerating the national economic recovery while also spurring higher economic growth.

In 2019, Bank Indonesia released the BSPI 2025 to address the issues of digitalisation in all parts of people’s lives. BI-Fast will become the backbone of the future retail payment system architecture, which will expedite payments by employing multiple instruments and channels that are real-time, safe, easy, and function around the clock.

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