Jakarta. Flow, an AI-enabled ethical credit management company, seeks to empower Indonesian borrowers to better manage their debt with a new self-service portal, dubbed FlowCares.
Indonesia is home to one of the world’s most unbanked populations, especially in rural areas. Its financial literacy is also of great concern. A 2019 nationwide survey by the Financial Services Authority (OJK) revealed that Indonesia’s financial literacy index stood at 38.03 percent, whereas the financial inclusion index was 76.19 percent.
At the same time, people now have better access to financial services, thanks to digitalization, emerging buy-now-pay-later e-commerce players, and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms, among others. According to CEIC data, household debt accounted for 10.4 percent of Indonesia's nominal GDP in Mar 2021. However, without proper knowledge of debt management, getting into financial trouble is often the case.
According to Flow, the average household in Indonesia would spend a quarter of their wages on unsecured debt repayments. Debt is the most common amongst the working class. This prompts Flow to come up with a self-service portal called FlowCares, where people can learn more about debt management through debt specialist support teams and online resources.
“The first step to managing debts is to understand the terms and conditions the borrower gets into when getting a loan, such as the interest rate and payment terms. Next, the borrower will need to remember to pay bills on time as late payment will make it harder to pay off and will incur late fees,” Hashim Hassan, Head of Operations Indonesia from Flow, said in a recent statement.
“Significant changes are happening in the credit industry now. Person-to-person interactions such as field collection are waning as more self-service systems take their place. It is more crucial than ever to place the customer experience at the core of collection strategies, recognize borrowers’ psychological needs and automate their debt journey,” he said.
Debt is a difficult and sensitive matter, and receiving any form of communication from a debt collector can be stressful. FlowCares strives to be Indonesia’s credible online guide borrowers can turn to.
“Self-service portal is the new standard in the collection and in Flow, we are aiming to do that through FlowCares, empowering borrowers for better debt management,” Hashim said.
Boosting financial literacy is also key to spur financial inclusion in the country. “Financial literacy is crucial to help consumers manage and save enough while avoiding high levels of debt that might result in defaults or bankruptcy,” Hashim said.
Besides making debt matters simple and understandable for all borrowers, Flow aims to transform the credit ecosystem that works for borrowers, responsible lenders, and the government bodies as a whole.