Bank regulations, creditworthiness, and geographical challenges of an archipelago have strongly contributed to limited access to banking solutions in Indonesia. A staggering 66% of the population, or around 180 million Indonesians, are unbanked. Yet, there are many ways to engage the unbanked, like creating an alternative credit scoring system or digitizing private sector wage payments, but what took the center stage is e-money (electronic money). e-money is great because it's a very convenient way to top up, particularly for people living in the rural areas, it doesn't require a bank account to setup, and there's no monthly fee attached that's typically seen in banks. With a high mobile penetration rate among the unbanked (7 out of 10 people who don't own a bank account owns a mobile phone) and low usage of financial services among smartphone users in the country (less than 40%), Indonesia is a very attractive market for fintech (financial technology) companies to come in and provide alternative digital banking solutions and other services. Needless to say, entrepreneurs, banks, and conglomerates caught on pretty quickly and competition in the industry has become very intense, very quickly. Currently, there are over 100 apps more or less with an e-money/e-wallet concept in the market.
While they're fighting for market dominance, end consumers are reaping the benefits. Just by being informed and tech-savvy, you can exploit and leverage it to help you make the most out of your money! There are also other extremely practical apps that can potentially help you to save big on dining, entertainment, and fitness options in Jakarta that will be discussed further below.