Starting with just a few small coins, a dream can come true. Through discipline and self-belief, something seemingly out of reach can be achieved.
One by one, the dreams of the residents of Mancang Village in Langkat, North Sumatra, are turning into reality through the money they have amassed in their savings accounts. A dream of owning a goat, of having enough business capital to sell ice blocks, or of opening a small cucumber garden, can all be realized through the money they save little by little.
Through BTPN Wow!, customers can save the proceeds of their hard work regardless of the amount. "I once received two Rp 500 coins that my customer wanted to save. Prior to this, where could they save just Rp 1.000 in a bank?" asked Fitri Ekawinarti, a BTPN Wow! agent in Mancang Village.
When she first found out about BTPN Wow! in mid-2016, Fitri was immediately interested in it. As a banking service which utilizes mobile phone technology and is supported by a network of agents for facilitating banking transactions, BTPN Wow! is designed to serve communities in areas previously without access to banks.
So now, the residents of Mancang do not have to travel for miles to open a bank account. Instead, some of their fellow residents are serving as BTPN Wow! agents, making it so much more convenient for members of the community to save their money irrespective of its value.
For Fitri, who works as a teacher at Pondok Pesantren and Madrasah Nahdhatul Islam (Islamic Boarding Schools), BTPN Wow! offers a way for her neighbors and relatives to manage their finances better. She believes that saving money both teaches people not to be wasteful and sets a good example for the area's children.
As a BTPN Wow! agent, Fitri initially offered people in the neighborhood where she teaches the chance to become a customer. Then the woman who turns 40 this year also expanded her services to other villagers.
At first, some people were doubtful and worried because they did not know about BTPN Wow !. "However, after the concept was explained to them and they could see their own neighbors becoming customers, they were also eager to join in," said Fitri.
One by one, the residents of the village became BTPN customers! They also learned how to conduct transactions via mobile phone. Using USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Services Data) based technology, BTPN Wow! is accessible from even the simplest mobile phone.
By dialing *247#, the village’s residents are able to perform a variety of transactions via their mobile phone, such as paying electricity bills, buying pre-paid electricity, and paying phone bills. When it comes to withdrawing or depositing cash, customers can do this via an agent.
After her neighbors became customers, Fitri did not stay still. She started dropping into various coffee shops in the village where people like to gather. She addressed numerous questions that arose from prospective customers and customers alike. "Why am I excited? Because for me, this is the ideal solution for people who live far from urban centers," she explained.
Day by day, more and more customers started registering for BTPN Wow! with Fitri. Amazingly, less than a year since becoming a BTPN Wow! agent, Fitri has registered more than 1,000 customers. Fitri's remarkable perseverance has helped her become one of the top ten BTPN Wow! agents nationally in terms of number of customers. Fitri also gets the benefit of additional income as a BTPN Wow! agent, along with the bonus of a motorcycle.
Seeing the wishes of her customers come true one by one through the proceeds of their savings has given Fitri a special kind of happiness. She now hopes that the spirit of saving will spread from Langkat to many other parts of Indonesia.