Raya brings finance to Indonesia’s rural agent force
BRI’s digital banking unit is using a vast agent ecosystem to distribute its products to Indonesia’s gig economy.
Here are three themes: the rise of digital banking; growing financial literacy and smartphone access in rural Indonesia; and the transformation of the gig economy there as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Bank Raya sits where these three themes meet.
Bank Raya’s story begins as BRI Agro, a subsidiary of Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Indonesia’s largest bank by assets. For 30 years BRI Agro was mainly a corporate bank for the agricultural sector.
In 2016, BRI’s president director Sunarso Sunarso set about a transformation plan for the overall bank on two fronts: culture and digital. He appointed Kaspar Situmorang as executive vice-president for digital and between them they set about preparing people, processes and technology. In 2020, Sunarso asked Situmorang a question: are we ready?
BRI Group has always been at the forefront of serving the ultra-micro and micro customers: that’s our core skill and our core customers
The plan was to take the agricultural subsidiary, dominated by lending to the plantations sector, and turn it into a digital bank.