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Jakarta Post

AliPay, WeChat entry faces hurdles

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 15, 2019   /   11:16 am
AliPay, WeChat entry faces hurdles An illustration shows the smartphone menu icon for Alipay, a popular digital payment platform in China that is owned by the Alibaba Group. (

While illegal transactions using Chinese digital payment instruments like AliPay and WeChat are rampant among Chinese tourists in Bali, the wish of the foreign e-wallets to legally operate in the country face obstacles as they need to go through the lengthy process of securing local partners.

A number of major state-owned lenders like PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) and PT Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), as well as CIMB Niaga and Bank Central Asia (BCA), have expressed interest in cooperating with e-wallet providers, but the road to realizing their respective projects has not been smooth.

BRI consumer director Handayani said the lender had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with AliPay in late 2018.

“It is a product with a new format that is different from Visa Card, MasterCard and JBS,” she said as quoted by, adding that if the agreement with AliPay was settled, transactions with AliPay could be implemented through BRI’s electronic data capture (EDC) using QR technology.

She explained that during a transaction, China’s currency, renminbi, would be converted into rupiah, but BRI would get the funds in renminbi from AliPay.

“We have to truly understand the settlement process and resolutions to any disputes so that we will not suffer any losses. We hope to implement [AliPay] sometime in 2019,” she said.

Meanwhile, BCA president director Jahja Setiaatmadja said BCA wanted to cooperate with either AliPay or WeChat. He hoped to start the collaboration in September this year.

CIMB Niaga consumer director Lani Darmawan said the lender had completed a piloting project for a cooperation agreement and had submitted a request with Bank Indonesia. She said the target was to launch the collaboration in the first half of 2019.

“But we have to wait for a permit from the regulator,” she said on Wednesday.

Transactions with AliPay and WeChat has reportedly been rampant among Chinese tourists in Bali, but existing regulations state that they are illegal.

Chinese e-wallet providers are advised to cooperate with local banks to make their business legal in Indonesia. (bbn)