The Jakarta Post
Bank Indonesia (BI) launched on Monday its long-awaited Quick Response Indonesia Standard (QRIS) code system that aims to universalize cashless payment in the country.
QRIS, which physically manifests as a more complex QR pattern, allows users from one payment service to transfer funds to any rival service within BI’s ecosystem.
A customer using e-wallet service LinkAja, for example, could transfer funds to a shopkeeper using e-wallet OVO given at least one party has a QRIS code.
“QRIS allows QR-code-facilitated payments [in Indonesia] to be interconnected and interoperable through a single standardized code,” said BI governor Perry Warjiyo during the launch ceremony in Jakarta.
The central bank has been developing QRIS since early last year. Working with, among other financial institutions, banks, interbank network providers and e-wallet T-cash (now LinkAja). BI based the QRIS pattern on the Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) international standard.
BI deputy governor Sugeng said the bank choose to champion QR code technology because its deployment cost was lower than, for instance, chip cards and RFID tags.
QR code deployment could be as cheap as printing the code and downloading a smartphone app. While cards and tags require buying an EDC reader machine, which cost at least Rp 450,000 (US$31.26).
Lower costs are necessary to encourage Indonesia’s 65 million micro, small and medium enterprises to adopt the cashless payment system, as many cannot afford card reader machines.
"We believe that such a modern fast payment system is vital to support economic activity in Indonesia, where economic growth is still at around 5 percent. We believe that if the digital economy players leverage this new payment system, growth may be above 5 percent in the years to come,” said Sugeng. (bbn)