Panel Discussion at the 2017 Infobank Award: FinTech, an Opportunity for Synergy or a Disruption?
Jakarta – Last Friday, August 11, Infobank Magazine hosted the annual “BPR Award”, a token of appreciation for all the hard work that rural banks (BPR) have put in with great dedication and integrity to advance Indonesia’s economy. AS many as 470 BPRs – out of the 770 that Infobank’s Research Bureau have previously assessed in July, received the award under different categories during the “8th BPR Award 2017” function that was held at The Westin Nusa Dua in Bali.
Mekar, represented by its Chief Operation Officer Pandu A. Kristy, attended the event as one of the speakers in a panel discussion titled “Strategic Steps Towards Promoting BPRs’ Growth in the Digital Era”. Other speakers in the panel include representatives from the Financial Services Authority (OJK), the Association of Rural Banks (Perbarindo) chairman Joko Suyanto and urban economics expert Dr. Nining Indroyono Soesilo, M.A.
The topic of the discussion is highly relevant to the current business climate in Indonesia, as stated by the director of Infobank’s Research Bureau, Eko B. Supriyanto, in his opening speech, “the most efficient BPRs are the ones that grow the most and those that have a good economies of scale.”
As an innovator in the field of financial technology (FinTech), Mekar talked about how BPRs can look at the emerging FinTech companies in Indonesia either as a disruption or as an opportunity for synergy in their efforts to improve their business. The cooperation between the two can happen by using a FinTech platform that connects lenders or investors with borrowers using technology that makes such platform accessible to anyone.
BPRs that are not ready to innovate and make a breakthrough will see FinTechs as a disruption since the latter add to the competition of finding prospective clients and providing financing services. In the midst of economic slowdown and dwindling purchasing power of the masses, this kind of disruption will greatly hurt BPRs’ business.
On the other hand, Mekar offers an alternative in improving business efficacy and efficiency by scraping processes such as client acquisition and channeling of fund. By forming a synergy with a FinTech company, BPRs can cater to a larger network of clients and break free from the costly, traditional ways of the banking system.
A cooperation between BPRs and Mekar will also be an implementation of Mekar’s vision in developing the company, as stated by Putera Sampoerna, the founder of the Putera Sampoerna Foundation that established Mekar, “I am investing in Mekar in order to create a professional FinTech platform that will support the growth of Indonesian small businesses. Let’s use this platform for a better Indonesia. Together we can make a change!”