In order to enhance financial access, especially for those people who live far from urban centers and have never previously been reached by banking services, BTPN launched BTPN Wow! in March 2015. BTPN Wow! is an innovation from BTPN which forms part of the program known as Laku Pandai, an Indonesian acronym for ‘Branchless Banking Services in the Framework of Financial Inclusion’, which was initiated by the country’s Financial Services Authority (OJK).
BTPN Wow! is a banking service for the mass market which utilizes mobile phone technology and is supported by a network of agents who serve as an extension of the bank in expanding service coverage to customers in all the remote corners of Indonesia.
With the assistance of this network of bank agents, people who live far from urban centers can now enjoy banking services without having to travel a long way to find a bank branch or ATM. Customers can open an account, and deposit or withdraw cash through a bank agent in their area with very low fees.
Furthermore, a variety of other transactions, including money transfers, phone credit purchases, ticket purchases as well as payments of electricity/water bills, telephone bills, insurance premiums and TV subscriptions, can be performed by mobile phone. Using USSD technology, or Unstructured Supplementary Services Data, BTPN Wow! can operate on all types of GSM-based mobile phones (it’s not necessary to use a smartphone), even with a very weak signal.
“One of the factors behind the success of this service product is the presence and role played by the bank agents. Through these agents, we are able to serve communities that were previously out of reach to banks,” said Product & Customer Experience Head of BTPN Wow! Achmad Nusjirwan Sugondo.
One example of a BTPN Wow! agent who is enjoying great success in serving the public is Farida Masrurin, owner of a grocery stall in Jegu sub-district, Sutojayan district, Blitar regency. Farida joined BTPN Wow! as an agent in April 2016. In addition to her trading activities, Farida is also active as an Assistant in the Family Hope Program (Program Keluarga Harapan/PKH) in Blitar and in managing a garbage bank.
“I was interested in becoming an agent because the registration process is easy. Also, you just need to use a cellphone and do not have to rely on strong signal. BTPN Wow! is also in line with one of my main tasks as a PKH Assistant of encouraging families to learn to how to save,” she explained.
At present, Farida has more than 1,000 customers. She is also active in educating the people she serves about saving money on a regular basis.
“Farida is a BTPN Wow! success story. She has not only managed to connect people to the bank, but also actively encourages her customers to save money diligently in order to have a better future life,” said Nursjirwan in conclusion.
By the end of March 2017, after its launch in March 2015, BTPN Wow! had 3,43 million customers who are served by more than 178,000 agents.