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Jakarta Post

Bank Indonesia, OJK limit direct services as social distancing measure to contain virus

  • Eisya A. Eloksari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, March 17, 2020   /   12:07 pm
Bank Indonesia, OJK limit direct services as social distancing measure to contain virus ATMs and cash deposit machines are to operate as usual amid the country's effort to implement social distancing to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (Shutterstock/File)

Bank Indonesia (BI) and the Financial Services Authority (OJK) have limited their direct services while pushing their online services in a bid to implement social distancing to contain the COVID-19 spread.

The central bank announced on Monday that certain services, such as the BI Real Time Gross Settlement service, BI National Clearing System and rupiah and foreign exchange monetary transactions supported by the BI Scripless Securities Settlement System to transfer funds, securities and settle payments among banks, would continue to operate normally.

The BI Electronic Trading Platform and money withdrawal and deposit services from banks through ATMs and cash deposit machines would also operate as usual.

“Meanwhile, services that are carried out through social interactions would be temporarily closed or halted as of March 16,” said BI spokesman Onny Widjanarko in a statement.

Read also: Stay home, President says

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo highlighted on Sunday the importance of practicing what is called “social distancing” to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus that has already claimed thousands of lives worldwide. He called on the citizens to work, study and worship at home as the coronavirus has infected 134 people in Indonesia and killed five among them.

The central bank, meanwhile, would close its mobile cash services in cities and outermost, frontier and least developed places throughout the nation. BI would also close its damaged money exchange service and its counterfeit money reporting services.

BI would cancel public visits and close the Bank Indonesia Visitor Center. Furthermore, the Bank Indonesia Museum and Bank Indonesia Library would also be closed to the public.

The central bank established measures to ensure that banknotes distributed to the public have been thoroughly disinfected to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus as well. The central bank is also quarantining banknotes received from banks for 14 days prior to disinfecting and redistributing them to the public.

“BI is enacting, among other things, a work-from-home mechanism for all of its employees,” Onny said.              

Similarly, the OJK on Tuesday told more than 70 percent of its employees to work from home to contain the coronavirus spread and limited working hours for those who are still required to go to the office. It also limited visitation services and advised customers to use online and phone channels if they need the OJK's assistance.

Read also: COVID-19: Patchy response to President's call to work from home

State-owned Bank Mandiri has also been allowing some of its employees to work from home since Monday.

However, the bank’s corporate secretary, Rully Setiawan, said that all Bank Mandiri branches would operate regularly from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Its ATMs would also be open for 24 hours as usual.

“Bank Mandiri is implementing split-team and work-from-home mechanisms for most of our work units,” he said in a statement. “In the current situation, our priority is the health and safety of our clients and employees.”

He also suggested Bank Mandiri clients to use its Mandiri Online mobile application to access its services for things like transferring funds and opening new saving accounts.  

 


If you want to help in the fight against COVID-19, we have compiled an up-to-date list of community initiatives designed to aid medical workers and low-income people in this article. Link: [UPDATED] Anti-COVID-19 initiatives: Helping Indonesia fight the outbreak