A new retail payments system has been launched across Indonesia by Bank Indonesia (BI), in a bid to strengthen the national digital economy and reduce money transfer costs.

The new system, named BI-Fast, has been described by the central bank’s Governor, Perry Warjiyo, as enabling realt-ime money transfers of up to 250 million rupiah at a cost of 2,500 rupiah (€0.155) per customer.

The initial stage of the rollout will see 21 Indonesian banks adopt the new system, whilst the planned second phase in January 2022 will see it integrated into the operations of additional banks and other financial institutions.

The launch forms part of IndonesiaIdnesonia’s wider plays for reform of the national payment system and enhance digitalisation, as set out in the 2025 Indonesia Payment System blueprint first drawn up in 2019. 

Warjiyo explained that the new system “will accelerate the digitalisasion of the national economy, integrate the payment system industry from end to end – digital banking, fintech, e-commerce and consumers, promote economic and financial inclusion and support the national economic recovery”.

As reported by Reuters, the Indonesian digital economy has grown at a rapid space as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – as with many other international financial sectors.

BI data shows that banking transactions rose by 47% in November of this year to reach 3,877 trillion rupiah (€240.0 billion) and e-money transactions increased by 62% to 31.3 billion rupiah (€1.8 million).

Previous moves to boost the digitisation of Indonesia’s economy and payments infrastructure saw the introduction of the ‘QR Code Indonesian Standard’ (QRIS) in 2019, acting as a standard for payments through server-based e-money applications, electronic wallets and mobile banking.