Bank BTPN Syariah is focused on building a people's economy through the empowerment of women. The bank's financing distribution segment is also targeting super-micro borrowers from the productive poor community.
President Director of BTPN Syariah Ratih Rachmawaty said that if mothers are empowered, then their families also become empowered. "Our vision to be the best sharia bank in terms of financial inclusion and to change the lives of millions of Indonesian people," she told reporters in Bandung on Thursday (19/10).
She explained that every super-micro customer can obtain a loan of Rp 2 million per person. The loan scheme is also quite easy because the bank does not ask for any guarantee.
"The only guarantee we look for is in a potential customer's face. As long as they are willing to have a face-to-face meeting with our staff, then yes we are happy for them to be our customers. We don't even ask if they have a vehicle registration, homeowners certificate, or anything," said Ratih.
According to Ratih, BTPN Shariah does not need to ask for any guarantee because the people targeted for this scheme are actually considered unbankable. "If they have a certificate like that, it means they are bankable. For us, as long as they want to engage in business, we can serve them," she said.
She explained that based on Quantative Synovate research from 2008, as many as 71 percent of people have never borrowed from a bank. 34 percent admitted to not borrowing from a bank because the process is complicated, while 28 percent claimed to have no money. In light of this, BTPN Syariah is trying to make it easier for unbankable customers across Indonesia to get financing.
Ratih said that usually customers use these loans to run home industries, such as making salted eggs, doormats, and patchwork, among others things. "So in addition to providing them with loans, we also open savings accounts for them without any administrative charges. We first give them a loan, and if they then start to make money they can save it," she said.
Customers, Ratih added, can also get additional financing after one year. "In the first year, they can get Rp 2 million. After that, if we keep seeing them, the next year they can obtain a maximum of Rp 4 million," she explained. She added that every year the loan ceiling will continue to grow.
Thanks to this strategy, BTPN Syariah's non-performing financing (NPF) ratio was maintained at 1.7 percent in the second quarter of this year. "That's much smaller than the industry average," she said.
To maintain the NPF at a low level, Ratih explained that there are 12 thousand high school graduate BTPN employees throughout Indonesia who visit customers every two weeks. These employees, who are known as 'Melati Putih Bangsa' (White Jasmine of the Nation), also accompany customers when performing transactions and participating in educational activities.
It is expected that in the future more and more super-micro borrowers will receive financing. "Now, as of June, we already have 2.8 million customers. In total from 2010, we have had about four million people become customers. Our total assets also stand at about Rp 8 trillion," said Ratih.
writer: Iit Septyaningsih