Jakarta. Open finance startup Brankas is planning to double down on its account opening business this year via the mobile data kiosks scattered across the country, with an overarching goal of boosting Indonesia’s financial inclusion.
Many Indonesians do not use or have access to financial services. Brankas reported that over 70 percent of Indonesian adults are underbanked and unbanked. Indonesia is a vast archipelago, and rural areas tend to have few or no bank branches. And technology, especially if adopted by the widespread mobile data kiosks, is one way of bringing these banks closer to the unbanked rural population.
You can find mobile data kiosks here and there in Indonesia, be it on the roadside or in shopping centers. These kiosks oftentimes belong to a larger network or distributor.
Brankas' aggregated application programming interface (API) will enable these kiosks to act as "financial services agents". So customers can open an account at these shops without the need to go to a bank, thus paving the way for greater financial inclusion in the rural area, according to Lius Widjaja, the business development head at Brankas.
"Today's mobile kiosks sell mobile games vouchers. But our APIs are empowering these kiosks to also offer account openings for its customers," Lius said in a media visit to B Universe — the parent group of the Jakarta Globe— on Wednesday.
To date, Brankas has partnered with 2-3 distributors with a total of 125,000 mobile data kiosks.
"One of the networks we are working with has 80,000 mobile data kiosks across the archipelago, particularly in the remote areas. Imagine if one shop manages to open one bank account in a month. That would mean 80,000 new bank accounts opened over the span of just one month,” Lius said.
"There are several distributors in Indonesia. One even has up to 500,000 mobile data kiosks, many of which are in areas that still lack banking presence. We wish to work with more distributors for better financial inclusion," Lius added.
Brankas Country Manager Indonesia Husni Fuad said such a business model would be a boon to both the bank and the third-party businesses — in this case, offline retailers.
"Banks can enjoy growth as they are able to reach a larger audience. The APIs would give a new source of revenue for the third party by channeling financial services to its customers," Husni also told B Universe.
Brankas reported that it had booked more than 10 million API hits in a month in 2022, and it is now aiming for two-fold growth this year. These API hits mostly came from balance inquiries, payments, and data, to name a few.
"In short, Brankas is not a fintech that lends money, but we are a technology enabler with our tech solutions [or APIs]. We enable the financial industry to become more innovative in offering its services and expanding its audience. So our clients are banks, insurers, and startups that wish to expand their services," Husni said.