Tangerang. App-based ride-hailing service Go-Jek's new e-wallet feature, known as Go-Pay, will soon allow people without bank accounts or credit cards to top up their balance by handing cash to their drivers. This will allow them to come one step closer to becoming bankable, as part of the company's mission to promote financial inclusion and a cashless economy.
Go-Jek Indonesia founder and chief executive Nadiem Makarim revealed on Tuesday (30/08) that the feature will be available within the "next few weeks."
In a country where only half of its adult population has bank accounts, let alone holding credit cards, a cashless payment solution will be on the forefront of any push to expand in Southeast Asia's biggest online market.
Launched in April, Go-Pay allows customers to deposit cash in their Go-Jek accounts, with the credit being used to pay for the company's various services, ranging from car and motorcycle hailing services, food deliveries, housekeeping and massage services.
Customer can currently only top up their Go-Pay accounts using bank transfers but the new feature will allow those without bank accounts the convenience of cashless payments and later on, an entire banking system.
Nadiem claims that Go-Pay has so far managed to put people employed in the informal sector — including motorcycle taxi drivers, small merchants and street food vendors — on banks' radar, allowing them to start applying for small loans or open savings accounts.
"Go-Pay doesn't want to be a bank, it wants to be the bridge that helps players in the financial industry to increase access [for unbanked people] to many financial services," Nadiem told reporters on the sideline of the Fintech Festival and Conference in Tangerang, Banten.
Financial Services Authority (OJK) chairman Muliaman D. Hadad said the banking regulator is encouraging more innovation by technology companies to support the country's financial inclusion program, which aims to bring four million Indonesian into the banking system every year.
"The potential that can be gained by the technology industry is huge. That's why we endorse the collaboration between [technology companies] and telecommunication and financial companies to provide access to financial products that are suitable for the people's need," Muliaman said.
Go-Pay is similar to e-wallet products offered by banks and telecommunications operators, such as XL Asiata's XL Tunai, Indosat's Dompetku, Telkomsel's Tcash and CIMB Niaga's CIMB Clicks.
"Go-Pay is one of the biggest e-wallets in the country in terms of size and number of users even if we've just started four months ago," he said.
However, the Go-Jek chief executive chose not to say how many people are already subscribed to the Go-Pay service, citing "fierce competition" in the business.
"All we can say is that that number of Go-Pay users are increasing by around 20 percent per week. [...] Even Go-Jek's growth has never been that fast," Nadiem said.
He is confident that the myriad of services on offer in Go-Jek's ecosystem would help Go-Pay stand out from competitors.
"Go-Jek has evolved to become an on-demand platform. [...] We'd like to say it's one app to rule them all," Nadiem said.