Two of Indonesia’s foremost companies in their fields, a Telco and a Bank, are combining their strengths in support of the National Non-Cash Movement while seeking to expedite financial inclusion through a Linked Financial Services platform. This initiative can proudly claim to be the first and only of its kind in Indonesia.
Whereas in the past telecommunications companies were considered competitors to the banking industry in terms of developing digital financial services products, now the two are seen as complementary to each other. Such a mutually beneficial relationship is perfectly exemplified by Telkomsel and PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk (BTPN), a telecommunications company and a bank which have successfully created synergy by launching the Linked Financial Services product TCASH – BTPN Wow! This pioneering partnership represents an historic milestone which has made the public and business world alike sit up and take notice.
This financial services product links Telkomsel’s mobile money known as TCASH with a BTPN Wow! savings account, a banking service that utilizes mobile phones. This unprecedented level of interconnectivity makes TCASH – BTPN Wow! the first Linked Financial Services product in Indonesia to combine the strength of a telco’s products and network with those of a bank.
The launch of TCASH – BTPN Wow! means customers can now get to enjoy a linked financial services product which offers a vast range of features. These include access to electronic money, mobile bill payments, and a secure savings account with monthly interest, without needing a minimum balance or incurring administration charges. Furthermore, the seamless registrationfeature available with this service allows customers to obtain financial services at a low cost.
The seamless registration feature also makes it simple for customers to arrange their funds stored in TCASH or those held in a BTPN Wow! account. What’s more, low fees mean even more benefits for users of TCASH – BTPN Wow!
TCASH – BTPN Wow! was officially launched on a nationwide basis on 18 April 2016 at an event in Ciampea Village, Bogor, West Java which also served as A platform for educating the public about the benefits of the product. These include the ability to perform easy and convenient transactions and to deposit money into a savings account via mobile phone, both of which are especially useful to communities previously without access to the services provided by formal financial institutions, known as the unbanked segment.
From a financial services perspective, mobile phone technology has proved extremely effective – reaching as many as 60% of unbanked people out of the total population in 2015, scattered in all corners of Indonesia’s vast archipelago. This has been made possible by the amazingly high level of cellular phone penetration in Indonesia, which currently stands at 130% of the total population. “In this light, the collaboration between BTPN and Telkomsel is expected to support the government in achieving its goal of accelerating financial inclusion, by synergizing the strengths of each institution,” said President Director of BTPN, Jerry Ng, on the sidelines of the launch.
The collaboration also demonstrates the genuine commitment of both BTPN and Telkomsel to assist the government in promoting the National Non-Cash Movement (GNNT) and expediting financial inclusion in Indonesia. This extensive partnership between Telkomsel and BTPN will also provide unprecedented access for the public to other financial services such as micro-loans for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as insurance products through the support of Telco Big Data.
Moreover, the combination of Telkomsel’s TCASH and BTPN Wow! also represents one manifestation of Telkomsel’s vision of creating a mobile financial services ecosystem integrated with the objective of accelerating financial inclusion in Indonesian society.
“This can be achieved by taking advantage of the widespread use of Telkomsel’s cellular phone services in all parts of Indonesia to promote access to financial services, by combining electronic money services with branchless banking services,” enthused President Director of Telkomsel, Ririek Adriansyah, at the same occasion.
It’s pretty simple to obtain the TCASH – BTPN Wow! linked financial service. Both new and existing TCASH or BTPN Wow! customers can register for it and then go on to perform transactions through more than 30,000 BTPN Wow! agents across Indonesia. Furthermore, these customers are able to access a wide range of financial features which form part of this linked financial service by dialing *800# for the TCASH USSD menu or *247# for the BTPN Wow! menu, at a much lower cost than other regular mobile banking services.
The partnership between BTPN and Telkomsel aimed at accelerating the government’s financial inclusion program is expected to run effectively and efficiently. This is because Telkomsel is Indonesia’s biggest cellular operator with a network infrastructure encompassing around 95% of the country’s population and around 96% of its regencies, not to mention a very strong distribution network featuring about 400 thousand outlets. In addition, Telkomsel already has a Digital Financial Services (LKD) license from BI which covers the TCASH electronic financial service which has proved to be so consistent in developing a non-cash ecosystem for financial transactions and now boasts 6.5 million users.
BTPN, for its part, is a bank focused on serving and empowering the lower-income segment, which is comprised of pensioners, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as productive poor communities (mass market). As a bank which concentrates on working with lower-income communities as well as MSME entrepreneurs, BTPN is one of just four national banks to have been granted a Laku Pandai (Branchless Banking) license, on its first application, from the Financial Services Authority (OJK). (*)