On 20 April, Reuters reported that three Indonesian digital fintech companies are collaborating with Facebook Inc. to apply for regulatory approval to launch mobile payments in the country.
Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, has 41 companies that have a Bank Indonesia e-wallet license and is also one of the largest Facebook and WhatsApp markets with millions of users. Indonesia’s payment market is expected to have a huge revenue potential-mainly contributed by e-wallets.
On 12 November 2019, Facebook announced its latest payment platform, saying it will be offering the service through Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. If approved, the proposal could be among the first such service under the unified payment service revealed by Facebook in November.
Filianingsih Hendarta, Bank Indonesia assistant governor who heads payment system policy, told Reuters the proposal was discussed with the nation’s central bank by several companies seeking approval. “So far no one submitted the formal application,” “Some of them just came to discuss during the consultative meeting with BI.” She said Indonesian ride-hailing company Gojek’s GoPay, state-backed LinkAja and fintech start-up OVO are the three e-wallet operators.
Filianingsih Hendarta said that any joint venture contract between a payment company and an existing company with a Bank Indonesia license must obtain the regulator’s prior approval, adding that the party with the existing license must also file the request.
The company is hoping to win permission and introduce digital payments to more countries, a Facebook spokeswoman confirmed. She said digital payments would open up opportunities for growing businesses.“We are in conversations with partners in Indonesia, however, the discussions are ongoing and we do not have anything further to share at this stage,” she added.
As Reuters reported, OVO and Gojek declined to comment. LinkAja was not immediately available for comments.