Interviewed By Foo Boon Ping
Kelvin Tan of Standard Chartered Bank and Peter Murray of Amazon Web Services discussed the launch of BukaTabungan, the digital bank partnership with Indonesia’s leading e-commerce platform, Bukalapak
Kelvin Tan, managing director and global head of nexus at Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart), chronicled the evolving landscape for banking-as-a-service (BaaS) and cloud adoption in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, describing the infrastructure backbone that is available to the financial services industry as ‘phenomenal’.
Launched in September 2022, BukaTabungan operates under the banking licence of StanChart in Indonesia, and is approved by the financial services authority Otoritas Jasa Keuangan to provide financial services to Bukalapak’s 110 million retail and 20 million micro, small and medium-sized enterprises user base. It recorded over 250,000 app downloads and onboarded over 70,000 customers in 2022.
This is StanChart’s third digital-bank partnership in Asia after Mox Bank in Hong Kong with Hong Kong Telecom (HKT), PCCW Customer Service and Trip.com; and Trust in Singapore with NTUC FairPrice and NTUC Enterprise Nexus Co-operative. This reflects the bank’s strategic focus on customer acquisition and service through digital partnerships and platform ecosystems.
Unlike Mox Bank and Trust, this is the first-ever deployment of nexus BaaS solution in a StanChart-led digital bank. Tan said another partnership with an e-commerce platform, Sociolla, is imminent.
The next step in the expansion of the nexus BaaS operating model is to launch in a second market with a third partner, to be announced within the first half of 2023. StanChart will also patent and commercialise the intellectual property of nexus as a cloud-scale technology stack to offer to other banks.
Tan said a separate company called audax will be set up, with him as the designated chief executive officer. audax will provide a choice of technology solutions with partners such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Thought Machine for different approaches that banks have towards core modernisation and cloud migration.
Murray, head of financial services for ASEAN at AWS discussed AWS Jakarta Region’s launch in December 2021 to cluster data centres for application and service delivery. This enables banks and digital banking platforms such as BukaTabungan to meet data residency requirements. It facilitated the connection to Indonesia’s national Kartu Tanda Penduduk Elektronik (E-KTP) biometrics-enabled identification programme that allows customers to open an account online in under five minutes.
AWS will also be building two other AWS Regions in Southeast Asia. One is in Malaysia, that will be part of a $6 billion (MYR 25.5 billion) infrastructure-building commitment to be completed by 2037. The second in Thailand was announced in the fourth quarter of 2022, bringing the total number of AWS Regions in ASEAN to four, including Singapore and Indonesia.
Murray said: “The infrastructure backbone that is available to the financial services industry, participants and developers across Southeast Asia is phenomenal and we’re incredibly excited to be here at this time.”
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