JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) Go-Jek, Indonesia’s biggest ride-hailing firm, has been ordered to wait for permits issued by Bank Indonesia before it can go through with its planned acquisition of three financial technology companies (fin-tech), namely, Midtrans, Mapan, and Kartuku, a daring move to strengthen its electronic wallet service business.

Bank Indonesia Director for Payment System Division Pungky Wibowo has commented that Go-Jek must detail its strategy this week before the central bank will grant any permit to function as a payment service provider.

“The company is still in the process of obtaining its license. We are still assessing it,” he said, Monday (18/12).

Nevertheless, Wibowo believes that Go-Jek will be cooperative enough to directly report and complete the documents and terms in obtaining permits for the acquisitions.

As for Midtrans and Kartuku, the company still has to obtain a license in order to become a Payment System Service Provider (PJSP) in the national payment gateway system.

Last Friday (15/12), Go-Jek was reported to have acquired offline payments processing company Kartuku, the online payment gateway Midtrans, and saving and lending network Mapan. The acquisitions will bring its combined debit card, credit card and digital wallet transactions to close to US$5 billion, the company said.

The acquisitions of Midtrans and Kartuku will allow Go-Jek to connect the payment system gateway between the three companies, for credit cards, debit and electronic money transactions.

Thus, the payment interconnection network capacity owned by Go-Jek, such as with an outlet, retailer or ‘acquirer’ bank will be greater.

Interestingly, the central bank is still reluctant to specify just when the acquisition permit for Go-Jek will be issued. However, Wibowo said that if the required documents are completed, the acquisition permit will be issued within 45 days.

BI will review three aspects before issuing the permits to Go-Jek: firstly, supervision for business development of the entire payment system service company involved.

Secondly, the consumer protection aspect, with the application of security systems and transparency to consumers.

Third, risk management aspect, in order to avoid operational risk, liquidity risk and market dominance risk so that the company can help sustain a conducive business climate.

The above requirements are needed in order to ensure that the development of payment systems consider system security, consumer protection and national security. (*)

Written by Elisa Valenta, email: elisa.valenta@theinsiderstories.com