Photo: GO-JEK

Cementing Leadership in Indonesia’s Fast Growing Payments Market

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories)  GO-JEK,Indonesia’s mobile on-demand services and payment platform, has acquired three leading financial technology (fintech) businesses in order to reinforce its leadership in internet payment protocol.

The unicorn, the firts’s US$1 billion startup backed by KKR & Co., Warburg Pincus and Tencent Holdings Ltd., declined to disclose the value of the deals.

Based on the company statement on Friday (15/12),the acquisitions bring together Kartuku, an offline payments processing company; Midtrans, the country’s online payment gateway; and Mapan, the leading local community group- based saving and lending network.

Through these acquisitions, the company will expand the usage of GO-PAY, cementing its leadership in the digital wallet and independent payment processing space in Indonesia. Collectively, the businesses currently process close to US$5 billion of debit card, credit card and digital wallet transactions for its users, services providers and merchants.

These acquisitions mark a significant leap forward in GO-JEK’s journey from a simple ride-hailing app to a multi- platform technology group that leads in payment services in Indonesia.

Nadiem Makarim – Photo: GO-JEK

Nadiem Makarim, Founder and CEO of GO-JEK Group, commented ‘We are now taking GO-JEK to the next stage, through the acquisitions announced today. This marks a significant development in our position at the heart of Indonesia’s vibrant fintech industry.’

He added that this step is in line with the Indonesian government’s aspiration for the country to become the largest digital economy in Southeast Asia by 2020.

Today, GO-JEK is the leading mobile-based consumer transactional platform in the country with 15 million weekly active users. It is also Indonesia’s largest ride-hailing, food delivery and instant logistics business and leading digital wallet provider, with 900,000 drivers, more than 125,000 merchants and over 100 million transactions processed through its platform per month.

Andre Soelistyo, GO-JEK Group president, said: ‘2018 will be the year that GO-PAY moves beyond the GO-JEK ecosystem, providing a convenient, secure and reliable payment protocol both offline and online.’

Furthermore, he said, the chief executives of each of the three acquired businesses will take senior management positions at the GO-JEK Group, with Aldi Haryopratomo of Mapan leading GO-PAY, Ryu Suliawan of Midtrans leading the Group’s merchant platform and Thomas Husted of Kartuku taking on the role of GO-JEK Group CFO.

Kartuku, Midtrans and Mapan

As Indonesia’s largest offline payments company, Kartuku currently serves nearly all the top 100 enterprise retailers in the country, operates 150,000 point-of-sales payment devices and works in partnership with nine acquiring banks. It also integrates with issuing banks, e-Money providers and offers value added services such as promotions and vouchers.

Photo: Kartuku

Kartuku, founded by Niki Luhur, launched its payment processing business in 2011 and it has rapidly expanded its customer base and merchant network since then. Thomas Husted joined Kartuku in 2015 as CFO and assumed the CEO position one year later.

He said: ‘Kartuku will focus on the GO-PAY offline use case by integrating acceptance of the mobile wallet into our existing enterprise merchant network. Concurrently, Kartuku will work closely with GO-JEK services such as GO-FOOD and GO-MART to provide offline payment infrastructure to their 125,000 merchants. The goal is to create a ubiquitous offline network for GO-PAY while honoring Kartuku’s long-held mission of furthering a ‘cashless society’ in Indonesia.’

Midtrans was founded by Ryu Suliawan in 2012. Today, Midtrans is the largest online payment processor in Indonesia through partnerships with Indonesia’s banks, airlines, e-commerce retailers and fintech companies. Midtrans currently works with over 3,000 online merchants processing 18 different local payment methods.

Ryu commented: ‘Midtrans hopes to significantly increase GO-JEK Group’s reach in online payments. We will use our platform and technology to further strengthen GO- PAY’s payment ecosystem.’

Mapan is a community-based financial network that harnesses the power of Indonesian communities, allowing people to work together to save for quality goods. Over one million families in 100 cities in Indonesia have become members of Mapan.

Aldi Haryopratomo founded the company in 2009, growing it from scratch to the organization of close to 2,000 employees that it is today. He said: ‘Through our community groups, we will also be able to help our members develop more responsible financial habits, which gives them opportunities for a better life.’

The partnership between Indonesia’s leading payments providers responds to a need for innovative financial solutions in Indonesia, where economic growth has been largely driven by rising domestic consumption. By 2030, Indonesia will add 90 million people to its consumer base — more than any other country except China and India.

Meanwhile, 96 per cent of the population has no access to credit cards, while 64 per cent does not enjoy any access to the formal banking sector.

Technology can play a significant role in enabling growth and providing citizens with access to products and services in Indonesia, where the Internet population is set to grow by another 32.3 million to 145 million by 2020.

Still, human rights and privacy advocates have sounded the alarm about the alluring ‘cashless society’, pointing out how it will enable total government control over the lives of citizens, watching everything they buy, everywhere they travel, and cutting off their survival income on any trumped-up pretense of ‘terrorism’ or ‘drug deals’. Cash-in-hand, it is argued, is one of the last bastions of liberty and privacy.

GO-JEK was established in 2010 as a motorcycle ride-hailing phone service and now has evolved into an on-demand mobile platform and a cutting-edge app, providing a wide range of services that include transportation, logistics, mobile payments, food delivery, and many others, on-demand. GO-JEK now operates in 50 cities across Indonesia.

Written by Linda Silaen, Email: