Bringing Papua Towards Greater Financial Inclusion

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Laila Afifa

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  • How Grab is creating  safe and easy access to financial services in the city of Jayapura.

    How Grab is creating safe and easy access to financial services in the city of Jayapura.

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - According to the World Bank, financial inclusion is defined as individuals and businesses having access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs, such as transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way. Financial inclusion gives people access to better economic opportunities, and is an important precursor to economic growth and development.

    Access to a transaction account is usually a first step towards financial inclusion, since it allows people to store,send and receive money digitally. However, according to the Financial Services Authority (OJK) of Indonesia, 51 percent of the adult population here do not have a financial account, either banking or non-bank.

    In Papua, this problem is compounded by the fact that the province has the lowest financial literacy index in Indonesia at just 29%, far below the national level of38 percent.

    In addition to other contributing factors, such as limited infrastructure and access to information technology, low financial literacy is often the main reason for the financial inclusion gap.

    The presence of digital platforms like Grab is helping to bridge this financial inclusion gap. Through services like GrabKios, Grab is leveraging warungs - stalls and kiosks found in every neighbourhood in Indonesia - to bring financial services like remittance, gold savings, bill, electricity and BPJS payments to millions of underbanked and underserved Indonesians.

    Improving livelihoods through digital technology

    In Jayapura, GrabKios isn’t just addressing the financial inclusion gap, it’s helping to improve earnings for many of the city’s warungs.

    “90% of my customers are transacting at my kiosks because they do not have a bank account. Most of them are traditional sellers in Abepura old market,” said Sugiyati (50), a kiosk owner in Jayapura who now offers financial and digital services after joining GrabKios agent-partner in 2017. "Every day, there can be dozens of people doing remittance at my kiosk. They can transact any time and don't have to go far or queue at ATMs and banks since my kiosks are open 24 hours," she said.

    How Grab is creating safe and easy access to financial services in the city of Jayapura.

    Dwiki Pahlevi (30) lost his job a month into the COVID-19 pandemic and decided to set up a smartphone accessory business in Hamadi market, Jayapura.

    “At first, I only helped my customers to top up their phone credit. But many of them asked if I could also help transfer money to their family. That was why I decided to become a GrabKios agent-partner. So I can offer more services to them,” said Dwiki who now sells from his minivan that he parked across the Hamadi market.

    “Most of my customers are traditional sellers in Hamadi market who do not have bank accounts,” he added. Not only is he able to help his customers with their financial service needs, he has also seen his earnings increase by 50% after joining GrabKios as an agent.

    Aside from GrabKios, other services that Grab has brought into Jayapura since it first entered the city in 2017 include GrabFood, GrabBike and GrabCar. Through these services - many everyday entrepreneurs have found a leg up for their ambitions.

    For Satrio Supriono (31), digital platforms like Grab have given his entrepreneurial spirit a boost. After floods and landslides forced his printing business to close, he started a culinary business with his wife called Ayam Geprek Juragan Sambel.

    At first, he operated his business from his house and only used social media as a promotion tool and needed to deliver customers orders himself. But platforms like GrabFood have given him the ability to reach more customers and allow him to spend more time finding ways of growing his business instead of delivering orders all over the city.

    How Grab is creating safe and easy access to financial services in the city of Jayapura.

    Only 2 months after joining GrabFood, he ventured to open a small restaurant in the Polimak area. But then the pandemic hit.

    “Entering the pandemic, almost no one came to eat at our restaurant. However, my wife and I were not too worried because we still get income from online orders. Thankfully, I have been able to etain my6 employees. That’s the most important thing to me,” said Satrio.

    As his business grew, the banks now trust Satrio more and he recently received a credit loan for him to open a second restaurant branch in the Sentani area.

    Inclusive Technology for all of Indonesia

    How Grab is creating safe and easy access to financial services in the city of Jayapura.

    Neneng Goenadi, Country Managing Director of Grab Indonesia said, "We believe strongly that technology can be a force for good. But it’s so important that the benefits be enjoyed equally across all of society - regardless of location, background, or ability.”

    “We are particularly committed to ensuring digital economy growth and financial inclusion is accessible to even the most remote cities in Indonesia. We were the first superapp to bring our services to Jayapura, and we hope to continue serving the needs of the locals there and create more opportunities for better livelihoods for thousands of Jayapurans.”

    INFO TEMPO