Back in November of last year, Bank Indonesia and IFC co-hosted a half-day forum focused on bringing efficiency to electronic money solutions in the country. The seminar – titled Peningkatan Efisiensi Penyelenggaraan Uang Elektronik (E-money) – was opened by Bank Indonesia Director Murniastuti and IFC Vice President Rachel Kyte. Global experts were brought in from Europe and India to discuss emerging regulatory best practices as well as the role for interoperability between mobile money and mobile banking solutions.
Bank Indonesia is interested in efficient systems not just for mobile money, but for other forms of electronic money such as credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards, ATMs, and point-of-sale (POS) terminals. Since many banks in Indonesia still maintain proprietary payment networks, it is not uncommon to find multiple POS terminals present at a single retailer – each POS accepting payment or debit cards from a limited number of banks. The same is true of ATM networks.
During the seminar, one questioner asked that the terms e-money, mobile money, and mobile banking be clarified. From the myriad responses she received, it was clear that these terms are often used interchangeably and that a variety of opinions exist about their specific definitions. Confusion over these terms increases the learning curve for individuals and companies that might have a potential interest in the space. In my next post, I will provide readers with some “standard” terminology that is beginning to emerge and will be very interested in different opinions and feedback.