Facebook is reportedly seeking regulatory clearance to launch a mobile payments offering in Indonesia alongside local partners.
The social media firm revealed Facebook Pay it in November 2019, and Indonesia could be one of the offering’s first markets if approval is granted, reports Reuters. Facebook Pay it will allow users to make payments without exiting any of the firm’s various apps, such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
Reuters’ sources said that Facebook is keen to capitalise on Indonesia, which is Southeast Asia’s largest economy with a population of 260 million. The firm is courting local partners including ride-hailing firm Gojek, fintech company OVO, and state-backed LinkAja.
Facebook had approached all of these firms via its WhatsApp unit as far back as August 2019 to discuss digital payment partnerships. An anonymous Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying “digital payments will...open up extraordinary opportunities for businesses to grow. We are in conversations with partners in Indonesia, however the discussions are ongoing and we do not have anything further to share at this stage.”
Filianingsih Hendarta, the head of payment system policy at Bank Indonesia, said that local companies had made enquiries to the regulator about approvals for payment partnerships with Facebook, but noted that none had made a formal application.
OVO is a startup with backing from Singapore’s ride-hailing app Grab. OVO’s CEO Jason Thompson said: “As an open ecosystem platform, we’re always seeking new partnerships to increase cashless transactions... including with Facebook.”