How LinkAja Might Win ?

LinkAja has officially grand-launched last June. It represents collective efforts of Indonesian BUMN (state-owned enterprise) to gain market share in emerging digital payment space. Clashing with the likes of Gojek, Grab-backed OVO and Alibaba-backed DANA.

Images from LinkAja.id

Things are not starting smoothly for them. The grand launch has been delayed couple of times due to technical issues, experts doubts their agility to compete and they’ve slouched to 4th place below DANA. Even though a year ago, T-Cash was fighting head to head with OVO to gain 2nd place.

So whats the move going forward ? Heres my quick thoughts on how LinkAja can win

Non-Smartphone Features

Gopay, Ovo and DANA all require smartphone to use. On the other hand, telco-based wallet such as T-Cash can be operated from dumb phones using USSD command. LinkAja can leverage this to offer more inclusive experience.

To process payments, user can just provide their mobile phone and approve payment via sms-delivered OTP. This could be beneficial to push LinkAja usage in rural areas where mobile internet coverage is spotty.

Digitizing Government Payments

In my experience, government payments are mostly in cash. From paying traffic fines, renewing your driver license or paying annual vehicle tax, LinkAja could be leveraged to make all of this cashless. Toll-road, Commuter Line and TransJakarta has been successfully converted to 100 percent cashless hence its not impossible to expand this into any sort of government payments.

For government institutions, cashless payments could make their payment processing more efficient and reduce fraud as well. This could be incentives for policy makers or public institution leaders to push LinkAja adoption in their organization. LinkAja could capitalize this putting registration and cash-in booth on every government institution that accept cash payment.

Leveraging Combined User Base

LinkAja is an evolution T-Cash. Telkomsel has 100 million existing user base. There also four state banks backing LinkAja up : Bank Mandiri, BNI, BRI and BTN. The four combined (also known as HIMBARA) represented almost 200 million accounts. Not to mention user contribution from Pertamina and Jiwasraya.

As i mentioned in my previous article, massive user base dont mean much if there are no clear benefits for Telkomsel or HIMBARA to use LinkAja over other wallet provider.

Good example of this is initiative to link integrate current account to LinkAja balance. Hence if you are one of HIMBARA bank users, you dont have to constantly top up, just link your account and LinkAja app could substitute your card as payment method.

Another ideas might be to use LinkAja as easier method to do peer to peer transfer. User can transfer money from any of HIMBARA bank to any mobile phone number since primary identifier for LinkAja (0r any other wallet) is mobile number.

Loyalty points is another angle that state owned enterprise could collaborate with LinkAja. Points from Telkomsel top-up, Pertamina petrol station, any payments from HIMBARA banks will be consolidated in LinkAja.

The key is to make the experience using LinkAja much much better for existing BUMN customer base compared to non-user. If its not, then LinkAja would not have advantage over other big 3 wallet provider no matter how many state enterprises backing them up.

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