CARDS & PAYMENTS | Staff Reporter, Indonesia

Indonesian banks tie up to launch QR code payment platform with Alipay

'Link Aja' will launch sometime in February to March.

Four Indonesian state banks are working on a centralised QR code payment platform called Link Aja that will integrate third-party mobile payment services in a development that eases the entry of Chinese payment providers Alipay and WeChatPay, according to local media reports. 

Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Mandiri and Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN) have joined forces with telco conglomerate Telkom Indonesia and energy giant Pertamina to launch ‘Link Aja’ by late February to early March. Telkom’s QR code services, T-Cash, will then be integrated into Link Aja’s services.

Also read: China's payment giants try to conquer Asia's banking scene

Link Aja will be a separate entity where all six state-owned companies will have equal shares in the firm. It is in the process of obtaining a license from the central bank. 

Chinese mobile payment services, which are popular in tourist spots like Bali, are restricted by the central bank as foreign entities are required to cooperate with local banks to be able to offer their services lawfully.

By collaborating with local banks, Wechat Pay and Alipay will be able to make transactions in the local currency in Indonesia, Onny Widjanarko, head of BI’s Payment System Policy Department was quoted in a report.

In August 2018, Vietnam raised concern about the proliferation of Chinese e-wallets used in tourist hotspots like Da Nang and Ha Long Bay. Vietnamese banks are not officially connected to the WeChat service, making it illegal in the country. 

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