GO-Jek and How It Can Help Boost Financial Inclusion in Indonesia
Wed, 30 Jan 2019 || By Sri Handayani Nasution

Increasing the financial inclusion has become one of the global concern on ensuring the development of the people across the world. Indonesia is not an exception. Financial inclusion can be defined as a condition where people have access to financial services such as credit, savings, payments, loan, and insurance provided by formal financial institutions.[1] The latest report of World Bank estimates 1.7 billion people of the world still lack access to formal financial institutions.[2] In Indonesia itself, approximately 36% of the populations is still disconnected from the formal financial institutions.[3] Geographical condition is one of the challenges for banks to reach out to the unbanked populations in rural area,[4] and in return it also discourages the population to open an account because of travel distance and enormous costs one need to pay in order to access the financial services.[5] As a result the excluded populations are left vulnerable in facing unexpected circumstances, such as: unemployment, death of breadwinner, or other forms of externalities.[6] On another perspective, we can see this unbanked population as an untouched market, this condition thus push company like GO-Jek to expand their market and reach out to the customer, offering them with financial services the underbanked otherwise cannot access.[7] This writing argue that GO-Jek (with their payment platform: GO Pay) would help to boost the financial inclusion in Indonesia.

            First, GO-Jek helps incentivizes the unbanked population to engage in financial services. As stated before, the lack of incentive of the unbanked to open a bank account is one of the obstacles to improve the financial inclusion. Other than geographical barrier, the amount of paperwork and the lack of solid reasoning to connect themselves to a more formalized financial institution reduce one’s initiative to enter the formal financial sector.[8] Company like GO Jek helps to incentivize the people as they offer easier access and reasons to engage with the financial services. For GO-Jek, cooperating with some public banks such as BNI and BRI, plans to give their food retail partner easier access to loans in order to improve expanding their business.[9] The increasing transaction using GO Pay on the other hand encourages their driver partner to open a bank account, GO-Jek are also offering their driver with access to mortgage loans.[10]

Second, GO-Jek provides alternative financial services to the underbanked and unbanked population. With the penetration of internet, more of the population in Indonesia have more access to smartphone and gadget than to the banks because of the geographical barrier.[11] Therefore it is easier for people to do financial transactions using their smartphones than going to the bank. GO-Jek provides easier access to the cashless transaction as the customer can increase their GO-Pay balance with the driver. This is proven with GO-Jek initiative to connect the mothers in rural area to buy household utensils using GO-Pay credit.[12] Not only that, by cooperating with P2P (peer to peer) lending firm[13], GO-Jek has provided alternatives options for the underbanked and unbanked population who wish to get a loan, as this population request to loan are often denied by banks or are discouraged to engage with the bank because of the complicated paperwork.

Financial inclusion in Indonesia can be improved by utilizing the FinTech industry like GO-Jek as people are incentivized and offered with various alternatives financial services they cannot or unwilling to access before. However, I believe it is also important to improve digital literacy in Indonesia hand in hand with the increasing alternative FinTech company like GO-Pay to ensure the comprehensive understanding of the underbanked and unbanked population about the financial services they can get in the status-quo.  

Editor: Anisa Pratita Mantovani

Read another article written by Sri Handayani Nasution

 

[1] Riley, T. (2017). Bringing E-money to the Poor. World Bank Publications, p.18.

[2] World Bank. (2019). Gains in Financial Inclusion, Gains for a Sustainable World. [online] Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/immersive-story/2018/05/18/gains-in-financial-inclusion-gains-for-a-sustainable-world [Accessed 17 Jan. 2019].

[3] Post, T. (2019). Using fintech to improve Indonesia’s financial inclusion. [online] The Jakarta Post. Available at: https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2016/09/07/using-fintech-to-improve-indonesias-financial-inclusion.html [Accessed 17 Jan. 2019].

[4] D. (2015). The future is now Digital Financial Services in Indonesia. The Future Is Now. P.4

[5] Riley, T. p. 23

[6] ibid

[7] Go-jek.com. (2019). Building Bridges to Empower People to Help Each Other | Corporate | GO-JEK Indonesia. [online] Available at: https://www.go-jek.com/blog/building-bridges-to-empower-people-to-help-each-other-aldi-haryopratomo/ [Accessed 20 Jan. 2019].

[8] Riley, T. p. 23

[9] Singapore, F. (2019). Go-Jek and Bank Rakyat Indonesia Teams Up For Financial Inclusion - Fintech Singapore. [online] Fintech Singapore. Available at: http://fintechnews.sg/17757/indonesia/go-jek-and-bank-rakyat-indonesia-teams-up-for-financial-inclusion/ [Accessed 20 Jan. 2019].

[10] Maulida, E. (2019). Go-Jek sparks an Indonesian banking revolution. [online] Nikkei Asian Review. Available at: https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Cover-Story/Go-Jek-sparks-an-Indonesian-banking-revolution [Accessed 20 Jan. 2019].

[11] D. (2015)

[12] Go-jek.com. (2019)

[13] Potkin, F. and Silviana, C. (2019). Indonesia's Go-Jek to partner with peer-to-peer lending firms. [online] U.S. Available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-gojek-fintech/indonesias-go-jek-to-partner-with-peer-to-peer-lending-firms-idUSKCN1LK0YS [Accessed 24 Jan. 2019].