Jakarta. Diversified Indonesian conglomerate Astra International has established a joint venture with Hong Kong-based technology company WeLab to provide financial products and loans to unbanked people, the company announced on Thursday (06/09).
"We hope to expand our digital portfolio, while we also aim to further encourage financial inclusion in Indonesia. We continue to seek partners with the industry's leading companies. We believe WeLab is at the forefront of fintech innovation.
Through this partnership, we want to offer innovative solutions to provide benefits to consumers throughout Indonesia," Astra International director Suparno Djasmin said in a statement.
Astra subsidiary Sedaya Multi Investama and WeLab established a joint venture, Astra WeLab Digital Arta (AWDA), to give unbanked people access to loans.
The joint venture, which uses big data analysis to better assess customers' financial profiles, will offer loan products for retail consumers that can be accessed by smartphone, while also providing financial solutions to corporate customers.
AWDA will launch its mobile application, Maucash, in the third quarter of this year to allow customers to apply for loans anytime and anywhere.
The new entity sees massive potential in Indonesia's fintech industry and seeks to capture the untapped potential.
Supported by rapid growth in the adoption of smartphones, Indonesia recorded a 7.9 percent year-on-year increase in the number of internet users to 143.26 million last year, according to the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association (APJII).
An APJII survey showed that about 44.16 percent of respondents use smartphones to access the internet, while 30.28 percent do so with both computers and mobile phones and the remainder use computers only.
"We believe our advanced technology, combined with Astra's operational experience in the Indonesian market, can provide new experiences for consumers in Indonesia," said Simon Loong, WeLab founder and chief executive.
WeLab, founded in 2013, operates Woalaidai, one of the largest mobile credit delivery platforms in China. It also operates WeLend, an online loan platform in Hong Kong.
The company also partners with traditional financial institutions that utilize WeLab technology to offer fintech-based solutions to their customers.