Exclusive: Salim Group, MAP latest to eye digital payments in Indonesia

Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

Indonesian conglomerate Salim Group and retailer MAP are the latest companies eyeing the digital payment space and have applied to Bank Indonesia for an e-money licence, three people aware of the development told DEALSTREETASIA.

Under Indonesia’s new set of rules for fintech companies, digital payment services can only be offered by providers after obtaining a central bank licence. Salim Group and MAP are among more than 150 companies that have applied for this licence.

An email query sent to Salim Group and MAP by this portal did not elicit a response.

In June 2017, Salim Group acquired a 51 per cent stake in a local bank, Bank Ina Perdana, for $42 million. The acquisition was widely seen as a move by the conglomerate to enter into digital payments. This was Salim Group’s second foray into the banking industry; it had taken over Bank Central Asia in 1970 but transferred its ownership to the Indonesian government in 1998 in the wake of the Asian financial crisis.

Salim group operates in food, retail, automotive, telecommunications, infrastructure and other sectors across Indonesia and the Philippines. It recently announced an e-commerce JV with Korea’s Lotte group, iLotte, with an investment of $100 million.

MAP is a leading lifestyle retailer in Indonesia with over 2,200 retail stores and a diversified portfolio that includes sports, fashion, department stores, kids, food & beverage and lifestyle products. It got listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange in 2004 and has over 26,000 employees.

In October last year, Bank Indonesia suspended top-ups to e-wallets for at least five service providers, including GrabPay, TokoCash and ShopeePay. Until then, service providers were working under the impression that it was legal to conduct digital payment transactions as long as they were conducted within their network. However, the central bank clarified that only e-money licence holders could offer e-wallet services.

Indonesia is the fastest growing mobile commerce market in the world. Go-Jek is one of the few technology companies in the country that have secured an e-money licence. Its CEO Nadiem Makarim recently said that the KKR and Warburg Pincus-backed unicorn will make the expansion of its digital-payment service Go-Pay in 2018 a top priority. As part of its digital payments push, Go-Jek in December announced it had acquired three local fintech companies — offline payments processing company Kartuku, top online payment gateway Midtrans, and local community group-based saving and lending network Mapan — to beef up its payments arm.

Other Indonesian conglomerates already operating banks and digital payment platforms are Lippo group’s Ovo, which recently partnered with Grab, and Sinarmas group.

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country with young, tech-savvy citizens raised on smartphones and apps. The country has the second highest dependency on cash in the world after India, according to the World Bank.

Also Read:

Go-Jek acquires three fintech firms as battle for payments heats up

Exclusive: Go-Jek eyeing payment gateway Midtrans

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. 
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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.