Dutch Queen Maxima Visits Indonesia to Monitor Financial Inclusion Program
Indonesia's Financial Inclusion Program is a government effort to improve public access for all Indonesian people to financial services such as banking, credit, insurance, and pension funds. Among the program's targets is to raise the ratio of access to financial penetration up to 75 percent of the total Indonesian population by 2019. Currently, there are still many Indonesians who lack access to financial services, especially those who work in the agriculture sector in the remote areas.
This is an important program because access to finance for the community contributes to the nation's economic and social development and reduces poverty.
For Queen Maxima Indonesia is the third country she visited in Asia, following China and South Korea in early February. During her visit to Jakarta, Maxima also met Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the State Palace to talk about the program's progress. Widodo said there are two key obstacles to the expansion of financial inclusion in Indonesia: (1) the system and (2) licensing. Both need to be simplified in order to boost financial inclusion.
Maxima's advise is three-fold. Firstly, the government needs to smoothen the use of the electronic identity card (e-KTP) for the opening of bank accounts. This will reduce the need for paperwork. As an illustration she said it only takes five seconds to open a bank account in India. Secondly, authorities need to develop digital money that will make payments more efficient, especially in the more remote areas. Thirdly, the government needs to focus on product innovation in cooperation with telecommunication providers for the opening of branch-less financial services.