Indonesia’s on-demand transportation, payments and logistics giant, Go-Jek, has announced that it “is making a substantial acquisition of shares” of Philippines-based blockchain-powered fintech company Coins.ph.
The transaction details have not been disclosed.
The companies have also announced a partnership, under which Go-Jek’s payments platform Go-Pay and Coins.ph will work together to encourage cashless financial transactions in the Philippines by combining Go-Pay’s technological expertise, scalability and experience in Indonesia with the blockchain firm’s deep local knowledge.
Ron Hose, Founder and CEO of Coins.ph, said: “Coins.ph and Go-Jek share the same vision that has made each a success in their markets, empowering their customers by giving them lower-cost and more convenient access to services. Together we have a tremendous opportunity and by leveraging Go-Jek’s resources and expertise, we can give Filipinos even more convenience, choice, and access to the services they want.”
Hose and the extended team will continue in their existing roles, with no impact to customers.
Coins.ph enables anyone, including those without a bank account, to access financial services directly from their phone. Using Coins.ph, customers have access to a mobile wallet and services such as remittances, mobile air-time, bill payments, and online shopping at over 100,000 merchants. Coins.ph claims to have grown its customer base to over five million in under five years, processing over six million transactions per month (as of December 2018).
Go-Pay is the leading digital payment service in Indonesia, with partnership with 240,000 merchants across Indonesia, almost half of which are micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The firm has also partnered with 28 financial institutions in the country with whom it works closely to facilitate access for the unbanked to financial products and services.
Aldi Haryopratomo, CEO of Go-Pay, said: “Consumer transaction behaviour in Indonesia and the Philippines share many similarities, and together with Coins.ph, we hope to have similar success in accelerating cashless payments in the Philippines.”
Go-Jek Founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim, said: “With the second largest population and a strong domestic economy, the Philippines is one of the most exciting markets in Southeast Asia. Supporting the success of a local fintech entrepreneurial champion like Coins.ph, with a similar ambition to empower society through innovation and technology, has always been part of our passion for growth. Today’s announcement marks the start of our long-term commitment to the Philippines and a continuation of our mission to use technology to improve everyday lives and create a positive social impact.”
According to a WeAreSocial 2018 report, Southeast Asia has one of the highest rates of mobile connectivity in the world, with Indonesia and the Philippines boasting higher mobile user penetration and mobile connectivity than the worldwide average. And yet, according to data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, in 2017, 77 per cent of the Filipino population were unbanked, 60 per cent of adult Filipinos still conducted payments through cash, and over 80 per cent used over the counter services to send and receive money. Digitising these payment and remittance services is a crucial step towards digital financial inclusion.