Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - In a bid to fuel data usage and customer loyalty, mobile phone operator PT Indosat (ISAT) has linked with PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) to provide mobile and Internet banking services to clients of the state-owned bank.
The link was officially announced on Friday during the signing of the deal between Indosat, the second largest mobile phone operator with more than 50 million subscribers, and BRI, the country's most profitable bank.
Under the deal, Indosat subscribers with accounts in Bank BRI can download BlackBerry, Android and Java applications that will grant them access to the mobile banking services of the bank.
Indosat has also issued special modems that can instantly link modem users with the bank's Internet banking services.
Indosat chief marketing officer, Erik Meijer, said that the collaboration was based on the trend of conducting banking transactions using mobile phones.
"This is a timely collaboration between two industries and two companies in facilitating financial transactions as demanded by our consumers," he added.
Indonesia, with a population of over 240 million, has more than 200 million subscribers to mobile phone services.
However, only 70 million people own bank accounts, giving ample room to localize financial services via telecommunication and electronic tools.
BRI general manager for funding and services Widodo Januarso said that around 15 million of the approximate 30 million BRI account holders were "eligible" for all forms of mobile and Internet banking services.
"These 15 million account holders are those with BRI savings cards," he said. Out of the 15 million, only an estimated 3.5 million of these account holders conduct banking activities through mobile phones and the Internet, he added.
Indosat was keen to collaborate with BRI because the bank had the "largest number of clients in Indonesia", said Sumantri Joko Yuwono, Indosat's product development and management head.
Sumantri said that by next year, Indosat was seeking half of the "eligible" 15 million account holders to migrate from traditional forms of transactions, such as through automated teller machines (ATMs), to those that conducted transactions electronically via Indosat's data networks.
He added that subscribers who conducted mobile banking tended to be more loyal. "Those who have linked their mobile numbers to their bank account mobile banking services are four times more loyal," he said, adding that the operator had provided mobile banking services for other banks such as Bank Mandiri and Bank Central Asia (BCA).
"The number of our subscribers who conducted mobile banking was 2.5 million last year. But this year, the number has risen to 4 million," he said.
Meanwhile, Widodo added that BRI had sought to increase the volume of transactions conducted through mobile and Internet banking through the deal.
According to him, the transaction value the bank reaped through its 3.5 million account holders who actively conduct mobile banking touched 21 trillion rupiah (US$2.2 billion).
"We aim to increase the number of account holders who conduct mobile banking to 5 million people and increase the transaction volume to 23 million rupiah," he said.