Bank Indonesia makes push to bring street vendors to world of cashless payments

Bank Indonesia (BI) is holding a National QRIS Week event across Indonesia to promote cashless transactions among small businesses using its Quick Response Indonesia Standard (QRIS) code system.

During the one-week event, which ends March 15, the central bank will disseminate information on the technical details of the QRIS system and the registration process for small businesses that want to begin using a cashless payment system.

BI Jakarta financial management director Luthor Tapiheru said he hoped that, in the future, street vendors would accept cashless payments through payment apps such as e-wallets. The use of the QRIS code could also provide transaction records for merchants, which they could use to apply for loans from banks, he added.

“Many micro businesses remain untouched by banks, because they won’t provide loans to businesses that don’t have transaction records. With the QRIS, they can use the recorded transactions to apply for loans and gain additional capital,” he told a press briefing on Tuesday.

Besides giving micro businesses financial access, Luthor said that the e-wallet’s Rp 2 million (US$139) transaction cap made it more suitable for micro businesses that conducted small business transactions.

As of February, the QRIS code had been used by about 2.7 million merchants across the country, according to the central bank’s data. In the same period, in Jakarta alone, the number of merchants using the QRIS code hit 618,337 people, a sharp increase from around 175,000 people in August last year.

Despite its rapid expansion, BI Jakarta representative office chief Hamid Ponco said many small businesses and vendors were still reluctant to use the QRIS as they did not fully understand how QR codes worked.

“It takes time to convince small merchants to install the QRIS at their stores, and to inform them that a standardized QR code can simplify their transactions,” Hamid said, adding that he hoped National QRIS Week would promote awareness among small business on the advantages of cashless transactions.

“It would be great if street vendors and wet market sellers used the QRIS for their transactions so they wouldn’t have to be troubled with looking for spare change,” he said.

The central bank has set a target of 15 million merchants using e-wallet services in 2020. The bank imposes a fixed fee of 0.7 percent for almost every transaction that uses the QRIS system.

Transactions in the education sector and at gas stations charge slightly smaller fees of 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent respectively, while QR code transactions for donations or social assistance will be free from any costs. (mpr)

Source: The Jakarta Post