Indonesia’s OVO Mobile Payments System Sees 75-Fold Transaction Increase

December 26, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

While mobile payment have been taking off to varying degrees of late, some places have seen much more rapid advances in the field than others. Indonesia is one example of a market that’s absolutely skyrocketing when it comes to mobile payments, as evidenced by a recent report from OVO, the digital payments platform under PT Vision International.

OVO noted that it had seen fully one billion transactions take place in 2018, and given that there’s still a little of 2018 left, it will manage to bump that up to “and change” if it hasn’t done so already. That’s impressive enough, but compared to last year, it’s staggering; one billion transactions represents a 75-fold increase over what OVO had seen just in 2017.

That’s amazing, but there’s at least one potential reason; OVO’s user base also saw a hefty jump, going up four-fold in the same period. So not only are there many more users, but these users are more active than they’ve ever been, which means fantastic news for OVO. So fantastic, in fact, that OVO now claims to be the largest digital payment platform in Indonesia, a point it credits to the wide dispersal of OVO access. In fact, 77 percent of OVO’s customers come from the greater Jakarta area.

OVO has been staging a lot of improvements in access of late; while it’s broadened its scope, it’s also increased its reach. Grab and Kudo are both taking OVO now, and 90 percent of the shopping malls in Indonesia—which reaches 294 cities total—accept OVO for payments on everything from groceries to movie tickets.

While we often look to loyalty programs as a reason to convince people to eschew cash in favor of the digital, we forget that almost as important is outright acceptance. If merchants won’t take it, then it really doesn’t matter how good the rewards are; no one will use it anyway. OVO has shown us the power of wide-scale acceptance; when everybody takes it—or large enough numbers, anyway—more will give it a chance and may find something they like.

I look forward to hearing about its numbers in 2019; big gains like this likely won’t come again, but if it can hold those numbers, OVO will be a force to be reckoned with.