- Airtime top-ups and bill pay: Airtime top-ups are as easy as walking a few meters to the nearest airtime vendor, who is often a friend and will send airtime on credit with a simple text. While mobile bill-pay makes life a little easier, the poor can easily pay their few bills at the local post or electricity office.
- Transfers: Providers have pushed P2P transfers as the gateway to MFS adoption in Indonesia. However, strict regulation on how customers register for MFS accounts and on the types of agents that can cash-out has rendered these services useless to most customers and retailers.
- Payments: Low-income Indonesians rarely shop at licensed businesses such as modern mini-markets (e.g. Indomaret, Circle K), which comprise the vast majority of brick-and-mortar retail outlets that in theory accept mobile payments. We conducted a retail audit and observed that most outlets equipped for mobile payments were unable to process in-store payments. Clerks lacked the know-how, and high rates of staff attrition made training obsolete within months.
The full version of our report is available here.
Michael Mori is a Master's Student and a MasterCard Fellow at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.
Kim Wilson is a Lecturer in International Business and Human Security and a Fellow at the Center for Emerging Market Enterprises and the Feinstein International Center at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.
Trevor Zimmer is a Master's Student and a MasterCard Fellow at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.