Realizing an Inclusive Economy with the 2016 Indonesia Fintech Festival & Conference
The important role of finance in strengthening the economy of a country, in collaboration with increasingly more rapid technology development, has resulted in Financial Technology, or more commonly known as Fintech. According to The National Digital Research Centre (NDRC), Fintech is an innovation in the financial sector with a touch of modern technology.
In the opinion of the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, Indonesia, as an archipelago country, really needs digital technology to reach people to the most remote areas. Therefore, the government continues to improve infrastructure to expand internet access in many regions.
This opinion was stated by the President in his welcome speech during the opening of the 2016 Fintech Festival & Conference at ICE BSD Serpong, Banten, on Tuesday, August 30, 2016. President Joko Widodo stated that he fully supports the presence of the Financial Technology Industry (Fintech) or the technology-based financial services. According to Jokowi, Fintech can help the government in realizing an inclusive finance.
“Digital technology is expected to reach those who have difficulty in accessing conventional financial services. Indonesia has a vast area with still many regions not reached by banking services due to the difficult geographical condition,” he said.
President Jokowi added that even for basic financial services such as depositing money at the bank, many Indonesians have not been involved. Let alone modern financial services such as business loan, housing loan, or capital market. “Such exclusion makes it difficult for them. It is difficult and complicated for them even to buy a house or to save money,” he explained.
In his closing speech, the President encouraged and invited the young generation and entrepreneurs in the Fintech Industry to keep making innovation and produce digital applications which can improve financial inclusion.
“I am very optimistic that the realization of an inclusive finance is important as a tool to reduce the income gap in our country or in other parts of the world,” he concluded.
In Indonesia, there is an association which manages such collaboration between finance and technology, namely the Indonesia’s Fintech Association. The existence of Fintech itself is expected to result in more practical and safe financial transaction processes. These financial transaction processes consist of payment process, lending process, transfer, or sale and purchase of shares.
In Indonesia, a number of Fintech companies starts to emerge, as proven by more than 100 companies participating in the 2016 Indonesia Fintech Festival & Conference, a big event resulting from collaboration between the Financial Services Authority (OJK) and Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN). MEKAR – PT. Sampoerna Wirausaha as one of the companies carrying out financial technology (Fintech) also participated in the event, which served as bridge between all actors in Fintech industry, starting from regulatory bodies, private financial institutions, investors, startups, incubators, industry associations and also academicians.
“The participation of MEKAR is intended to introduce itself as one of the Fintech institutions which are operating in Indonesia. It is also a form of support to FSA and KADIN as organizer of the 2016 Fintech Festival & Conference. In addition to that, MEKAR also wants to increase public awareness of MEKAR loan products, method and implementation of MEKAR technology, which is different from other Fintech institutions,” said the CEO of MEKAR, Thierry Sanders.
Thierry also added that the positive response from visitors of MEKAR’s booth was obvious, questions for finding out about what MEKAR is and how the lending process works were raised enthusiastically by the visitors. Thierry hoped that there will be more events like the 2016 Fintech Festival & Conference, in order to introduce to the public and educate them about the ease of more practical and safe financial transaction processes as implemented by MEKAR for its debtors.