Guess which credit card company is buying into an alliance of fintech companies tapping into the unbanked SE Asian market.
At a time when the Indonesian government and its stakeholders are focused on driving financial inclusion in what is Southeast Asia’s largest economy, there is a particular emphasis on the capacity of fintech to drive additional inclusion and economic opportunity.
According to McKinsey, the digitalization of commerce in Indonesia could help to add an additional US$150bn to the country’s GDP by 2025. At end 2019, the Financial Services Authority had reported that the financial inclusion index had hit 76.19 percent, passing the government’s target of 75% for the year.
Tapping into this drive, fintech holding company Digiasia has developed a range of partnerships that help to integrate the digital economy into Indonesians’ day-to-day lives. The company is working with a number of transport operators to allow for easy payments for services, large vendors such as iRMA and Metrodata who can offer B2B sales financed by KreditPro, remittance companies like Western Union and Mandiri Syariah, and digitizing of supply chains by DistroPro.
Through partnering with existing businesses such as these, Digiasia is able to connect the banked and unbanked, as well as those that are already digitally connected and those that are not yet online. Digiasia is currently affiliated with several fintech companies in Indonesia: KasPro, an e-wallet and payment platform; KreditPro, a P2P lending and financing platform geared towards micro, small and medium-sized businesses that are underserved by traditional banks; and RemitPro, which offers efficient and secure remittances across both digital channels and through a network of offline agents, such as telecom companies, post offices and retailers.
These services are all undergirded by a technological framework that provides security across transactions, guards against risky lending, and allows funds to be accessed and transacted in both digital and physical ways.
In Digiasia’s Series B funding round, credit services giant Mastercard has announced it will be the leading investor, providing both capital and strategic assistance to strengthen Digiasia’s suite of financial services. Even before this, Mastercard had demonstrated a commitment to helping more Indonesians to play a greater role in the country’s economy. Last year, the company has started Mastercard Academy 2.0—a program that seeks to encourage financial inclusion by imparting essential digital knowledge and skills to different segments of the Indonesian population.
Stated Digiasia Bios cofounders Alexander Rusli and Prashant Gokarn: “We’ve been steadfastly building a network of partners that helps our offering to connect with the broad financial needs of individuals and businesses, and with Mastercard on board, we now have the support of one of the world’s experts on digital commerce. We look forward to working together to expand our reach in Indonesia and to make a range of powerful financial services available to people of all backgrounds—no matter where they are socioeconomically, or how technologically connected they are.”
In addition to Mastercard’s financial investment, Digiasia will also have the benefit of being able to leverage the banking and business networks and cybersecurity expertise of one of the world’s leading payments technology companies. Said Safdar Khan, Division President, Southeast Asia Emerging Markets, Mastercard: “Financial inclusion is about more than just having people transact money via apps or make online purchases. It’s about finding simple mechanisms that broaden economic opportunities so that people at all levels of society can enjoy the benefits of a modernizing digital economy. Mastercard is deeply committed in helping Indonesia to exceed its financial inclusion goals, and hence the decision to work with Digiasia, whose suite of financial services is already making a marked difference in the everyday lives of many Indonesians.”