Bank of Indonesia urges China’s Alipay to review payments application

An Alipay logo is seen at a cashier in Shanghai January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Ali Song/Files

Bank of Indonesia (BI), the country’s central bank, has asked China’s Alipay to review its application for offering payments services in the country, a BI official said at a hearing in the House of Representatives on Monday.

Deputy governor of BI told the House of Representatives’ Commission XI, which oversees finance and banking matters in the archipelago, that Alipay’s operation in the country was delayed due to its paperwork and incomplete documents, according to Jakarta Globe.

Apart from Alipay, another Chinese payment service WeChat Pay was given a nod by BI last year to operate in the country in partnership with local lender CIMB Niaga Indonesia.

Both the payment services have announced to operate in Indonesia. So far, WeChat Pay is the only foreign payment service in Indonesia, which has secured permission to operate in the country.

According to the BI regulation, any foreign payment service needs to forge a partnership with local lenders that have core capital of over Rp 30 trillion ($2.19 billion) or categorized as BUKU 4, a clause that allows them to conduct all business transactions in rupiah and other foreign currencies.

There are around six local lenders currently who are categorized in BUKU 4 namely Bank Mandiri, BCA, BRI, BNI, Bank CIMB Niaga, and Bank Panin.

Bank Indonesia’s Filianingsih Hendarta, head of BI’s macroprudential policy department, said to local media that the institution has issued a license for WeChat Pay to operate in Indonesia in partnership with Bank CIMB Niaga, the country’s fifth-largest lender by assets.

Meanwhile, Alipay is also expected to partner with Bank CIMB Niaga as the lender is now preparing the electronic data capture (EDC) devices to roll out transactions for both the Chinese payment services.

Earlier this month, Lani Darmawan, commercial director at CIMB Niaga, said that some of the EDC devices have successfully catered to consumers who are using the WeChat Pay system.

Going forward, it will cater to more Chinese tourists coming to Indonesia, especially in tourist destinations such as Bali and Yogyakarta.

BCA also announced alliances with Alipay and WeChat Pay in October last year. The lender said it will be finalized in the second quarter of this year.

Another foreign fintech player Whatsapp Pay, a payment service unit of US-based messaging app Whatsapp, is currently approaching other local digital wallet service providers such as DANA, GoPay, and OVO.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.