Jakarta. OVO has become more than just a payment platform, but Indonesia's largest integrated digital ecosystem as it enters its third year in September, according to OVO president director Karaniya Dharmasaputra.
The Lippo-backed startup first joined the e-money boom in 2017. OVO later expanded to other financial services, including peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, investment, insurance, credit scoring, and multifinance.
"Within three years, we have grown to become the largest fintech service ecosystem in Indonesia," Karaniya told the Beritasatu Media Holdings editorial team in recent online discussion.
The app now offers P2P lending with Taralite which has recently secured license from the Financial Services Authority (OJK). Thanks to Bareksa's partnership, OVO users can invest in a mutual fund, government securities and gold. Corporate bonds and stocks will join the list in the near future.
They have also teamed up with insurance company Prudential to promote insurance inclusion. Those interested can fill the available form. A Prudential agent will then contact them for more details and paper works.
OVO public relations head Sinta Setyaningsih said that the digital platform has also helped the government improve financial inclusion.
"Almost 30 percent of OVO users are unbanked. They usually top up their OVO credits through Grab drivers, not bank transactions. These people did not have a bank account, but they are comfortable using OVO," Sinta said.
Additionally, OVO aims to help micro, small and medium enterprises not only create a sustainable business, but also grow and adapt amid the pandemic. As of now, a whopping 550,000 out of the 600,000 OVO merchants are MSMEs. More initiatives to help out MSMEs will also be launched.
According to Karaniya, OVO actively helped the government in preparing the pre-employment card, an unemployment benefits program for laid off workers during the pandemic.
The program does not only offer online trainings for job seekers, but is also a platform for social aid distribution. Beneficiaries will receive incentives up to Rp 3.55 million ($242.62) on their OVO account.
The government selected OVO as their partner because all users' data are synced to the registry office. Once a user creates an OVO account and uploads their ID and photograph, their data will automatically sync to the registry office's database and thus making the distribution process easier.
Social aid funds have always had issues with the intermediary. With a digital platform, people can easily register. Once they have fulfilled the requirements and considered eligible, the government can immediately top up their OVO account.
This is also the first time in Indonesia's history that the government uses a digital platform for social aid distribution, Karaniya said.
The pre-employment card was officially launched last April. Unfortunately, the program received backlash over its selection of courses, trainers and many more.
Despite the criticism, the program recorded more than 10 million signups, Karaniya said.