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Indonesian financial regulator releases blueprint for digital banking

Written by Khamila Mulia Published on     2 mins read

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By defining a set of guidelines for digital banks, the OJK is attempting to make online financial services competitive and safer for consumers.

Indonesia’s financial services authority, OJK, has developed a blueprint for digital banking services. It shared the guidelines on Tuesday with the banking sector, which is incorporating new innovations to develop digital versions of financial institutions. The blueprint outlines working principles in five areas—data governance, technology, risk management, collaboration, and institutional arrangements.

One of the most important aspects of this blueprint is effective cybersecurity management. OJK is demanding Indonesia’s digital banks to follow frameworks set up by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other international standards for information security management, like ISO 27001 and ISO 27032. This is increasingly important in Indonesia due to a series of high-impact data breaches involving data stored by private companies as well as entities in the public sector. The Indonesian parliament is also reviewing a data protection bill that may become the national reference for data governance.

“We will continue to refine the blueprint document. It is a guide for bankers and stakeholders in the banking industry, so we can move faster [to adopt new technologies] and contribute to the economy, while operating in line with prudent principles,” said OJK’s chief executive banking supervisor Heru Kristiyana at a press event.

Digital banking has caught on in Indonesia in the past two years. Indonesia ranks second in the share of adults with a digital bank account (24.9%), after Brazil’s lead with 32%, according to a report by Finder. Tech companies are pouring in resources to develop solutions within this space. Several digital banking platforms that are backed by tech giants are Bank Neo Commerce, which was created after the acquisition of Bank Yudha Bakti by Alibaba-backed fintech firm Akulaku; Jago, a firm backed by Gojek; Sea Group’s Seabank; and Line Bank by Hana Bank.

Standard Chartered and Bukalapak are preparing to launch digital banking services on the latter’s e-commerce platform. And, Grab and Emtek Group are reportedly investing in a local lender called Bank Fama to build their own digital bank. Local media outlets reported that the former CEO of CIMB Niaga Indonesia Tigor Siahaan will lead the venture after he stepped down from his position in October.

More fintech companies are expected to collaborate with conventional banks as digital banking is utilized by even more Indonesians, especially since OJK will impose a moratorium on license issuance for fintech lenders as part of the government’s efforts to strengthen supervision of this type of business. The suspension may lead to mergers and acquisitions among fintech lenders, and many will also team up with banks to operate in the digital banking sector, analysts believe.

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