There have been many changes in our lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of which is the cashless payment method in order to minimize physical contact between sellers and buyers. This method is becoming increasingly more common. Fitria Irmi Triswati, Group Head of Payment System Policy Group, Bank Indonesia said that Bank Indonesia (BI), in responding to the digital phenomenon, realises that as the authority, BI must be able to strike the right balance between innovation and risk mitigation. One of its responses is through QRIS technology.
Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard or commonly abbreviated as QRIS (read KRIS) is the unification of various QR types from various Payment System Service Providers (PJSP) using a QR Code. As mentioned in the official BI website, QRIS was developed by the payment system industry together with BI so that the transaction process with the QR Code can be easier, faster, and more secure.2 All Payment System Service Providers who use QR Code Payments must implement QRIS. Provisions regarding QRIS are regulated in the Regulation of Members of the Board of Governors No.21/18/PADG/2019 (PADG BI 2019) which was later amended by Regulation of Members of the Board of Governors No. 23/8/PADG/2021 (PADG BI 2021).
The use of QRIS as a daily payment method is quite common in urban areas, because of how integral mobile banking is in urban society. However, as reported by Sudibyo Wiradji’s article published in The Jakarta Post dated April 15, 2021, that in reality, many Indonesians, especially those living in rural areas, still do not have a bank account or are not part of financial inclusion.
Data shows that unbanked citizens are estimated at 66% of Indonesia’s 275 million population.4 As of January 2021, Indonesian internet users have reached 202.6 million or around 73.7% of the total population of citizens, where mobile phone communication in Indonesia has reached 343.5 million or equal to 125.6% of the total population of citizens. The data from BI under the publication entitled “Digital Financial Inclusion in Indonesia” states that in 2013, more than 13 (thirteen) million mobile phone users in Indonesia were poor households.
This set of conditions should be a motivation for BI and related financial service providers to seek more equitable financial inclusion through QRIS, especially because of the huge gap in the number of unbanked Indonesians and those who have internet access via their mobile phones.
Meanwhile, counseling and guidance, as well as access to business capital are some of the forms of poverty alleviation as regulated in Law Number 11 of 2009 concerning Social Welfare (Law 11/2009). Article 21 of Law 11/2009 which stipulates that:
“Poverty alleviation is carried out in the form of:”
The provision indicates that financial inclusion can help the poor and the most vulnerable in society to escape poverty, reduce inequality, develop the whole society, and promote economic growth. QRIS is a step towards better financial inclusion, but data shows that BI and related internet-based financial service providers still need to be more aggressive in terms of advocacy and providing resources related to QRIS and its benefits for the community to achieve welfare for all. CAC/ALH/HES