A digital wallet refers to an online system or electronic gadget that enables an individual to complete an electronic transaction (of course, there are also paper wallets to handle your digital assets as well). Most digital wallets are usually linked to a user’s bank account, a credit card, or a debit card. They allow for users to make online purchases at e-commerce websites or stores quickly and easily. Some do this with the assistance of a technology referred to as NFC (Near Field Communication). NFC helps two smart devices to communicate wirelessly when in close range. Today, digital wallets are not only being created to facilitate financial transactions, but also to authenticate and store the user’s information such as loyalty card information, payment information, passwords, and the user’s credentials. Some digital wallets are created specifically for storing, trading, and/or using cryptocurrencies (either one or multiple cryptos), while other digital wallets combine all of the above mentioned factors, plus other additional features.

Digital wallet adoption and use have been on the rise over the past few years. This growing adoption has in no small extent been fuelled by the increasing number of tech companies that have introduced them to the market. Notable players in the digital wallet scene include Microsoft wallet, Google Pay, PayPal, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay, among others. Digital wallets, also known as e-wallets, represent a radical shift in the payments industry away from traditional payment methods such as cash and cards. Recently, digital wallets began to make a move towards mobile payments through mobile apps to help users make purchases through smartphones.

Digital Wallets’ Growing Popularity

Digital wallet popularity and adoption is continuously gaining traction worldwide. Customers are faced with an increasing number of digital wallets from retailers, financial institutions, and third party providers. Furthermore, digital wallet usage is penetrating into different industries such as banking, retail, entertainment, and the financial sector. Additionally, the rising number of smartphone adoption and e-commerce is fuelling mass adoption and the need for tech-driven payment methods and cryptocurrencies. Their popularity with consumers is as at least partially a result of them offering safer, faster, and more convenient payment solutions compared to conventional payment systems.

Indonesia’s Stance on Blockchain and Crypto

Bank Indonesia has kept its stance on digital currencies in that the state doesn’t recognize them as legitimate payment tools. According to Indonesian Law 7/2011 on money, the rupiah is the state’s only official payment and transactions instrument. The bank, therefore, encourages Indonesian residents to use the rupiah national currency for making payments. This is primarily because digital currencies violate Law 7/2011 on currencies. Despite this, Indonesian authorities have not banned cryptocurrencies, crypto-trading, and crypto-exchanges. Instead, the state has recognized cryptocurrencies as commodities. According to Indonesian media reports, the state’s Futures Exchange Supervisory Board has decided that digital currencies can be subject to futures trading. A move that makes them qualify as commodities.

Later on, the government is expected to issue further regulations that will cover other fields of the cryptocurrency industry such as taxation and trading. The rules will also include additional regulations that will govern the activities of crypto-exchanges. This regulatory framework will also extend to covering the operations of wallet service providers and digital currency mining businesses. These rules will address issues such as tax evasion, money laundering, and terrorist financing. Amidst all these, Bank Indonesia intends to launch a national cryptocurrency which is an alternative to existing digital currencies. Its value will be pegged to the assets of Bank Indonesia and will be determined by inflation levels and the national exchange rate.

The Situation in Indonesia

Currently, the Indonesian environment has numerous crypto-exchanges and P2P marketplaces that have set up shop in the state. Furthermore, blockchain and crypto-based fintech startups are also sprouting in the country, attracting foreign interest from international firms.  Due to this, the percentage of cashless transactions rose from 27% to 30% in a four year period between 2012 and 2016. Indonesian taxi hailing giant Go-Jek, rolled out its digital payment option to support payment for taxi rides, offline retail fees, and food deliveries. Other popular crypto-exchanges in Indonesia that have achieved exponential growth include:

  • INDODAX
  • TokoCrypto
  • Luno
  • CoinOne
  • Huobi

Despite the ban on using digital currencies as payment methods, there seems to be an increase in cryptocurrency Point of Sale (POS) devices in Indonesia. A Jakarta based cryptocurrency payments startup, Pundi X, is behind the circulation of crypto-POS gadgets in the country. Pundi X remains confident and optimistic that Indonesian authorities are going to lift the ban on cryptocurrency payments and is, therefore, laying the groundwork for when that happens. Their primary mission is to make spending cryptocurrency as easy as walking into a store and purchasing bottled water. The company is not deterred by the government’s ban, as their POS gadget, the XPOS, has support for processing other payment methods such as Visa, MasterCard, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, bank debit transactions, & QR and NFC-based transactions.

Digital Wallets in Indonesia

When it comes to digital wallets, Indonesia is in a league of its own with multiple offerings from digital companies already in existence. Due to a lack of a proper cashless payment systems in Indonesia, a lot of partnerships are being forged to offer new solutions. Furthermore, the likelihood of acquiring millions of customers is a deal too good for technology companies to pass on. Companies such as SoftBank, Didi Chuxing, and Alibaba’s Ant Financial, are all pouring capital into local Indonesian companies with the goal of attaining a foothold in the state’s digital payments market.

Indonesia is a prime location for the growth of digital wallet startups. For starters, a majority of Indonesians spend a lot of time on their phones. Concerning phone adoption in the country, 91% of the Indonesian population has access to a phone with 47% of those being smartphones. These facts, combined with rising levels of internet access, is pushing a majority of local and international companies to compete for the Indonesian market. Foreign and international companies such as PayPal, T-Cash, Grab, and Go-Jek are all buying up local payment companies in the state.

Conclusion

The future of digital wallets, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology in Indonesia is expected to be exciting. With a majority of foreign and international companies competing to capture Indonesia’s local digital wallet market, one can only expect things to improve. Blockchains.my (BCMY) is an advanced and secure digital wallet app that handles multiple digital assets with an extremely friendly user platform. You can learn more about the Blockchains.my digital wallet app on our main website.