Fintek Karya Nusantara recently launched LinkAja, a new e-payment service to go head-to-head against Go-Pay and OVO. (Antara Photo/Aprillio Akbar)

LinkAja Sets Goal to Improve Financial Inclusion in Indonesia

BY :HERMAN

JULY 02, 2019

Jakarta. LinkAja, an electronic payment service controlled by some of the largest state-owned enterprises in Indonesia, has set a lofty goal: to bring tens of millions of adult Indonesians into the country's financial system by the end of this year. 

Fintek Karya Nusantara (Finarya), the company behind LinkAja, officially launched the e-payment service on Sunday after an introduction phase begun in January this year. 

The event was attended by Vice President Jusuf Kalla, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno, Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara and Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi.

"We hope LinkAja can become a national development agent to help the government realize its goal of improving financial inclusion in Indonesia to 75 percent by the end of this year," LinkAja's chief executive Danu Wicaksana said at the event. 

Almost half (49 percent) of Indonesia's 185 million adults now own a bank account, up from just 20 percent in 2011, according to the latest Global Financial Inclusion Index database from the World Bank.

Danu said the two main challenges of financial inclusion are Indonesians' reliance on cash and their limited access to financial services.

"LinkAja's biggest homework remains to persuade more Indonesians to use non-cash services and to provide efficient financial services for all of them," Danu said. 

LinkAja is facing stiff competition since the domestic e-payment market is now practically controlled by Gojek Indonesia's Go-Pay and Lippo Group's OVO. 

But Danu said LinkAja has new strategies up its sleeves. It is also already available at more than 150,000 merchants including e-commerce, public transport and overseas remittance services.

It has partnered with major transportation companies Bluebird, Railink and Damri, and dozens of digital donation services like Rumah Zakat and Baznas.

LinkAja also has CICO (Cash In Cash Out) services, where customers can top up their balance and withdraw cash, already in place at more than 100,000 spots throughout Indonesia.

Its latest feature is a service that allows card-less cash withdrawals. Using just their smartphone, customers can withdraw money from 40,000 ATMs operated by state-controlled lenders around the country. 

LinkAja also has a Singapore-based remittance service targeted at Indonesian migrant workers. 

"LinkAja offers digital transaction services different from other products in the market... including digitalizing Pertamina's fuel station, introducing non-touch payment on toll roads with Jasa Marga and digital payment on trains, buses, LRT, MRT and at airports," Danu said. 

LinkAja's operator Finarya was founded on Jan. 21 by shareholders Telekomunikasi Selular, Bank Negara Indonesia, Bank Mandiri, Bank Tabungan Negara, Pertamina, Asuransi Jiwasraya and Danareksa. 

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