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Jakarta Post

Payment with WeChat Pay, Alipay only for foreign tourists: BI

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, December 14, 2018   /   04:36 pm
Payment with WeChat Pay, Alipay only for foreign tourists: BI An illustration shows the smartphone menu icon for Alipay, a popular digital payment platform in China that is owned by the Alibaba Group. (Shutterstock.com/charnsitr)

Bank Indonesia has said China’s WeChat Pay and Alipay as well as other foreign payment platforms can set up shop in Indonesia, but they are only allowed to target foreign tourists’ payment transactions.

To be able to operate in the country, the central bank requires foreign platforms to cooperate with local banks that have core capital of more than Rp 30 trillion (US$2.06 billion).

“All global players can bring their payment instruments to Indonesia, but they are only allowed to target transactions of foreign tourists,” said BI payment system policy department head Onny Widjanarko in Jakarta on Friday as quoted by kontan.co.id.

He added that the requirement for WeChat, Alipay and other foreign payment platforms to cooperate with domestic players was stipulated in two BI regulations on electronic money and the payment transaction process.  

Onny said WeChat and Alipay were in the process of cooperating with a local bank, either state-owned lender PT Bank Negara Indonesia (BN) or privately owned lender PT Bank Central Asia (BCA).

With cooperation from local banks, the transactions were expected to be in rupiah and were well-recorded, he said, adding that local banks would also benefit.

WeChat and Alipay could directly cooperate with merchant aggregators like Alto Hallo Digital Indonesia (AHDI) and if the latter wants to cooperate with foreign payment providers they are required to do so with large banks.

He said starting in January, BI would inform merchants and hotels in tourist destinations about the regulations, particularly Bali, where most Chinese tourists spend their holidays. (bbn)