The fintech industry in Indonesia has been growing aggressively with new startups and innovations popping up overnight. With so much going on, how do we even keep track of everything?

It might not be possible, but there are some interesting companies that have begun to make inroads into the local fintech ecosystem. One such company is Monnai, who recently put a lot of focus into Indonesia.

To find out more, we spoke to Riza Kristanto, Country Director of Indonesia for Monnai to better understand their goals in the market. He recently joined the company and comes as a seasoned business leader with extensive experience in the credit score and credit data ecosystem. He
joins Monnai from his previous role as Senior Vice President at PEFINDO Biro Kredit (idScore), one of Indonesia’s leading financial services providers and the largest credit bureau.

Monnai commenced the year 2023 at an impressive pace, undertaking construction, recruitment, and expansion beyond the expected limits. The conclusion of March 2023 recorded over four newly developed products, fortifying the choices made by clients across various stages ranging from introduction to credit evaluations, as well as all aspects of account transactions.

Notably, Monnai experienced remarkable growth within the fintech sector, amidst mutual obstacles in online deception and sufficient coverage for users new to the credit spectrum (NTC), escalating the number of novel sign-ups by an astounding 150% for the current quarter compared to the preceding period.

Furthermore, the organization continued to execute a composed and systematic workforce expansion strategy, augmenting the existing personnel by an additional 20% during the same quarter to enhance future growth potential.

Within six months of securing seed funding, Monnai triumphantly procured $6.5 million during a Series A funding round led by Tiger Global in March, generating substantial interest within the industry as it ventures into prime markets like Southeast Asia.

Congrats on the new role. Could you share what you plan to bring to Monnai in Indonesia?

Thank you. I’ve been in the credit and fintech industry for over 15 years in Indonesia. In my last role, I was Senior Vice President at PEFINDO Biro Kredit (idScore), one of Indonesia’s leading financial services providers and the largest credit bureau. Over the past years as I’ve been working with hundreds of business leaders in Indonesia, I’ve seen how businesses and financial institutions specifically can benefit from consumer insights and analytics leveraging alternate data to support their growth. As I learned about what Monnai was building, I rapidly saw the opportunity to address this market opportunity in a unique way. The Monnai team is already powering the decision-making of flagship customers here in Indonesia across many use cases like onboarding/KYC, credit decisioning, fraud risk and collections. In my new position, I’m bringing a strong network of businesses and a vision of the market that I will leverage to scale the company’s operations locally.

How large do you see the fintech industry in Indonesia and what is the potential for Monnai in the market?

There is a huge potential in Indonesia and in general across Southeast Asia to increase access to financial services. The digital economy in Southeast Asia is expected to grow by an impressive 17.1% rate over the next 5 years, largely surpassing the growth in markets like the US and Europe. As a result, businesses face increasing challenges ranging from the rise of online fraud to the fragmentation and disparity of identity standards and customer data which have been the focus areas of Monnai. For instance, in Indonesia, digital payments are already exceeding US$80 billion and we are seeing a need for efficient infrastructure providing access to insights and analytics into a diverse set of demographics to unlock massive growth opportunities in the financial services space.

What are fintechs getting wrong when it comes to decision-making?

As fintechs look to scale their business, drive efficiencies, or enable cross-border transactions, they need access to ubiquitous and timely consumer insights, decisioning technology, and analytics in order to onboard the most profitable users, reduce fraud/compliance risks and expand their business. Over the past few years, fintechs have been developing strong capabilities using more and more data to make their own decisions. The challenge is to get access to the insights that will inform decisions across silos and use cases in as many useful ways as possible. While there has been an exponential growth of digital data, merging data sources is very complex, disparate and probabilistic in nature, which makes it difficult for fintechs to consume it without spending costly engineering resources and time. This is where Monnai comes into play, providing businesses with a single source of truth for their consumer decisioning models through a single API, across the entire customer and transactions lifecycles.

What do you see as the biggest challenges you face in scaling within the market?

Fraud is also on the rise which is one of the biggest challenges for businesses expanding in Southeast Asia. With the explosion of digital services and the spectacular growth that the Indonesian market is experiencing, data shows that 23% of Southeast Asia’s internet users were victims of fraud, with Indonesia recording one of the highest number of incidents. This significantly affects industries like ecommerce and gaming as well. Being able to provide the right tools and technology to mitigate this risk will unlock significant value for both businesses and consumers.

What’s next for Monnai in Indonesia?

We have large ambitions in Indonesia. Our customers consistently experienced strong benefits using Monnai’s infrastructure, whether it is to improve conversion at the top of the funnel or to reduce risk or delinquencies, there’s always a direct and tangible ROI which drives customer decisions to use our platform. Overall, our customers experience 99% detection of fraudulent identities, 40% increase in approval rates, and 40% reduction in default rate. Our goal is to become a key enabler of the fintech growth in Indonesia, enabling significant economic growth, which is mutually beneficial for businesses and consumers. And this commitment is at the core of Monnai, providing businesses with a mission-critical infrastructure that was created with global innovation and diversity in mind. To achieve that we’re hiring top talents from the fintech industry, and I’ll be working closely with all senior leaders and stakeholders in the Indonesian fintech market.