Jakarta. Blu, a new app from online banking platform BCA Digital has gained more than 1 million customers and managed nearly Rp 72 trillion ($4.6 billion) in transactions since it was launched last July, its executive said on Wednesday.
And the room to grow is enormous in a country with more than 180 million unbanked people.
Blu was launched with user-friendly features like cardless ATM withdrawal, a Quick Response code payment system for online shopping, and a virtual card for various transactions, President Director Lanny Budiati said during a visit to B-Universe newsroom in Jakarta.
BCA Digital is a subsidiary of lending giant Bank Central Asia. Still, in many ways, it differs itself from the incumbent bank, which has its own online services called Mobile BCA.
“We have a different three-digit bank code than that of BCA,” Lanny said.
She claimed that the subsidiary is the first online-only bank in Indonesia that operates without branches and bank cards.
Being associated with a trustworthy brand like BCA is a blessing to the digital subsidiary, which has no major issues in attracting new users to its apps and collecting fresh funds, Lanny said.
“While BCA targets all groups of customers, we focus on digital-savvy customers,” she added.
Lanny compares this type of relationship to Garuda Indonesia, which has become a top-of-mind brand in domestic flights but still needs subsidiary Citilink to accommodate the budget aviation market.
Unlike the vast majority of online banking services in the country, BCA Digital doesn’t work in tandem with the incumbent bank although she said that money transfers between the subsidiary and the parent company are treated like internal transactions and free of charge.
BCA Digital works like a normal bank, meaning that it’s more than a digital payment platform whose number is growing rapidly in the country.
“You can open an account and save money at BCA Digital,” Lanny said.
Work is underway to build the necessary infrastructure so that the banking app can channel credits and complete the full functions of a bank, but that will require approval from the Financial Services Authority (OJK), she added.
BCA Digital was established in 2020 after BCA acquired Royal Bank and spent a year transforming it into a full-digital bank.