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Indonesia’s Fintech Sectors Experience Rapid Growth from E-Money Services

In Indonesia, e-money is becoming a more popular method of payment. Credit and debit cards continue to account for the lion’s share of retail electronic transactions in terms of value, accounting for 82% of total value in 2019. However, in terms of the number of transactions, e-money has eclipsed credit and debit cards in recent years, accounting for 84% of total retail economic transactions in the same period.

Low transaction costs, the rapid expansion of the digital economy, and a large population of unbanked individuals are among the key drivers of growth in e-money usage. The primary driver on the supply side is lower transaction costs, which are passed on to users through discounts and promotions. Meanwhile, the rapidly expanding digital economy has resulted in an increase in demand for digital payments. Furthermore, the growth of e-money in Indonesia is aided by the country’s low rate of bank penetration. Because of its contactless nature, the COVID-19 outbreak has recently increased the popularity of e-money.

With this announcement, Indonesia’s fintech start-up has announced that it has obtained an e-money licence from the country’s central bank, Bank Indonesia, paving the way for the launch of its e-money service in the country. The central bank granted the e-money licence to a subsidiary of the holding company formed after the Indonesian start-up company invested in its Singaporean counterpart earlier this year, according to the announcement.

The fintech firm is one of the largest financial service platforms to receive the e-money licence, which is a lucrative licence held by top fintech players and large banks in the country. The licence is valid for five years and can be extended for another five. The fintech company intends to use the licence to expand the number of use cases that its agents can facilitate, particularly to assist global merchant clients in collecting payments from the unbanked.

As of May, the company’s financial group has processed nearly $10 billion through its ecosystem of products and with the e-money licence expects this volume to grow further. “Now with an e-money licence, we are expecting that this advancement would move us closer to our goal of becoming a full-stack financial service platform for unbanked people”, said the CEO and co-founder of the fintech start-up company.

OpenGov Asia reported that the rising digital payments transactions reflect the evolving digital financial literacy of the Indonesian population. It also demonstrates the increasing acceptance of fintech and e-commerce services in the country. BI foresees that the uptake of digital transactions will continue with e-commerce and e-payments growing by 33.2% and 32.3%, respectively in 2021.

As more e-wallet players transition to multi-line businesses to provide financial services, the industry must strengthen interlinkages among providers to provide a more seamless experience for customers.

In contrast, banks should incorporate the open banking era by adding more application programming interfaces (APIs) that e-payment players, Fintechs, and other digital platforms can easily access. Banks will be able to create a comprehensive payment ecosystem, tap into the existing ecosystem, and broaden access and market to offer their services by utilising API. Over time, it is expected that the use of digital banking and even e-wallets will significantly contribute to economic development and the abolition of poverty in the country.

Some of the most significant regulatory challenges confronting Indonesian e-money issuers. Limits on e-money balances and monthly transaction value have been cited as a barrier to growth by e-money issuers. Another regulatory challenge is the industry’s restriction on foreign ownership, which can deprive e-money issuers of foreign know-how and funding on a larger scale than is currently available. Moreover, e-money issuers must continue to invest in technological advancements to combat fraud and other cyber risks.

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