PONTIANAK: PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk (BTPN) is consistent in supporting the expansion of financial access through the Laku Pandai (Branchless Banking) program launched by the Financial Services Authority (OJK) in March 2015.
As a way of enhancing this support, BTPN teamed up with the newspaper KORAN SINDO to hold a discussion with the theme of ‘Laku Pandai: Akses Keuangan untuk Semua’ (Laku Pandai: Financial Access for Everyone) in Pontianak, West Kalimantan. “Laku Pandai is a revolutionary concept that will change the behavioral map of the Indonesian public in terms of banking. We are extremely proud that BTPN has been entrusted to become one of the pioneers in this initiative,” said Product & Customer Experience Head of BTPN Wow! Achmad Nusjirwan Sugondo in Pontianak yesterday.
To complement the remarkable innovation of Laku Pandai, he continued, BTPN came up with the idea of BTPN Wow!, a banking service intended for the mass market which utilizes mobile phone technology and is supported by a widespread network of agents who act as an extension of the bank in expanding the reach of its services to customers all across Indonesia. With the emergence of BTPN WOW! people can now enjoy a wide range of banking services such as opening an account, or withdrawing and depositing money through a bank agent at a very low cost. By June 2017, after its launch in March 2015, there were more than 190,300 BTPN Wow! agents serving as many as 3.86 million customers.
“A warung (small food kiosk) can serve as an agent, as can a pulsa (mobile phone credit) seller, meaning that BTPN is now reaching even the most remote areas of Indonesia,” Achmad explained. He added that BTPN WOW! also allows customers to perform numerous transactions including money transfers, mobile phone credit purchases, and the payment of various bills such as electricity, water and others by means of a mobile phone. BTPN WOW! uses USSD, or Unstructured Supplementary Services Data, technology which can operate on all types of GSM-based mobile phones (not necessarily a smartphone), even with a very weak signal.
The target customers of BTPN Wow! are people who have never had a bank account, but are accustomed to using mobile phones and topping them up with pulsa. As such, it shouldn't be too complicated for those who want to perform banking transactions on their mobile phones. In the meantime, Asep Ruswandi, Head of the OJK’s West Kalimantan Office, said that the Laku Pandai program in West Kalimantan still has great potential. According to him, of the 14 regencies / cities in West Kalimantan, only eight have bank branches.
“This means that there is still room for banks to develop financial literacy through Laku Pandai,” explained Asep. Thanks to its BTPN Wow! initiative, BTPN made in onto the “Fortune Change the World” list, which includes 50 companies from across the globe adjudged to be performing well in solving social problems while remaining profitable.
BTPN’s inclusion in this prestigious list, which was released in the September 2016 edition of Fortune Magazine, indicates that through BTPN Wow! the bank is considered to be successfully assisting members of the public who previously had no access to banking services in Indonesia, and is also playing a significant role in improving financial inclusion in the country. In fact, BTPN is the only Indonesian company to appear in this list. To further extend its coverage for the public, BTPN Wow! continues to expand in partnership with various other parties such as mobile phone operators.
Writer: Hatim Varabi