Alert! Online loan offers via SMS are increasing, this is the danger

Reporter: Maizal Walfajri | Editor: Barratut Taqiyyah Rafie

KONTAN.CO.ID – JAKARTA. Recently, the activity of offering online loans (pinjol) by illegal financial technology or fintech companies has been on the rise again. This condition occurs in line with the increasing need for funds by the community. In fact, people often receive online loan offers via short messages or SMS.

The Indonesian Joint Funding Fintech Association (AFPI) reminds the public of the rampant bidding activity of illegal fintech that is detrimental to the public.

AFPI emphasizes that online loan offers via the short message system (SMS) or short messages are the practice of illegal fintech actors who are not registered with the Financial Services Authority (OJK).

AFPI Chairman Adrian Gunadi said in the digital era, online loan offers via SMS are increasingly prevalent, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is certain that the offer via SMS is from an illegal fintech actor (not registered with the OJK). This type of offer is lured and will eventually harm society.

Also Read: Corona outbreak, non-performing credit fintech P2P lending increased to 7.99% as of July 2020

“Illegal fintech actors are targeting people who are currently experiencing economic difficulties and need money due to the pandemic to meet basic or consumptive needs. Even though this illegal fintech loan is very detrimental to the community because it charges high interest, the loan period is short and they always ask to access all contact data on their cellphones. This is very dangerous, because this data can be shared and used to intimidate during billing. Be alert and don’t be easily tempted, ”said Adrian in a written statement, Wednesday (23/9).

Adrian explained that peer to peer (P2P) fintech lending that has been registered with the OJK is prohibited from offering products or promotions via SMS short messages. This is regulated in OJK Regulation number 07/2013 concerning Consumer Protection in the Financial Services Sector.

Also Read: Observer: Revision of the Law on Bank Indonesia is necessary, but don’t touch on independence

Article 19 of the regulation states that Financial Services Business Actors are prohibited from offering products and / or services to consumers and / or the public through personal personal communication (email, short message system (SMS), and voicemail) without consumer consent.

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Alibaba polishes its crown and its semi-hidden jewels | Opinion

Alibaba is displaying all of its jewelry. Quarterly sales growth in its main business, retail, has picked up. But cloud computing is growing almost twice as fast, while the subsidiary fintech Ant is on his way to an epic public offering for sale.

Things are back to normal for the e-commerce giant. Sales in China’s core business, which includes its shopping portals and supermarkets, topped $ 14.3 billion in the April-June quarter, up 34% year-on-year.
That is more or less in line with its rival Still, his peers, including archrival Tencent and local rival Pinduoduo, are having a hit. The latter’s shares have more than doubled in value so far this year.

Alibaba boss Daniel Zhang has other gems as well. Revenues from the company’s cloud computing division increased 59% to $ 1.7 billion as more and more Chinese companies switch their operations online.

The company is one of the early leaders in the nascent but rapidly growing cloud sector in China. HSBC analysts optimistically estimate that it could reach 80 billion yuan (11.6 billion dollars) in sales by 2022. At a multiple of 6.4 times the sales of the next twelve months (which is a discount compared to competitors more mature global companies), the bank estimates that Alibaba’s cloud business could be worth $ 74 billion.

Ant’s upcoming Stock Market debut is another positive point. Alibaba converted a profit-sharing agreement with its payments subsidiary to a 33% stake in 2018. That same year, Ant raised funds with a valuation of $ 150 billion, according to Reuters.

The giant of fintech is preparing a dual Hong Kong-Shanghai listing that could value it at more than $ 200 billion. Alibaba’s stake, along with its cloud arm, accounts for about a fifth of the e-commerce giant’s company value, $ 676 billion.

Alibaba shares have risen 23% since the beginning of the year, topping the S&P 500 but lagging behind many tech peers. Alibaba shares are now reaching 27 times future earnings, according to Refinitiv data, down from Tencent’s 32 times, suggesting that the stubborn valuation discount has widened over the past two years.

Crystallizing a valuation for Ant could help close the gap, and an IPO of the cloud business could make sense as well. Zhang has multiple levers to pull them.


Ualá, the financial services app that grows in Argentina – A morning for everyone

With the pandemic, many Argentines began to take advantage of the use of technology to carry out procedures without leaving their home.

In this context, the fintech -financial company that uses new technologies for activities of this type- Uala, had a great growth during the quarantine. The functionality of payment of services through the app increased by 300%.

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Besides being an app, Ualá is also a card Mastercard international prepaid that allows you to load credit and use it where and how you want.

In quarantine, they came to issue 2 millions of plastics that were shipped across the country.

“It sped up a little bit in the quarantine. We reached two million cards issued. It was something we had planned. We launched in October 2018 and we have been growing super strong. In addition to the issuance of the cards, we also saw how the use of the different functionalities of the app was increasing more and more, “he told Chain 3 Martín Bellocq, Marketing Manager.

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Using the app is very easy: the user must enter the Android or iOS store, download the app, fill out a record that involves scanning the ID and a photo.

The system then verifies that the data is correct and a card is sent to the person’s home.

“From that, you have to recharge the Mastercard to use it. That money can be used to buy with the card anywhere in the world and also one can use it for other functions, such as paying bills, making transfers, recharging the cell phone, investing in a common fund, etc. All for free “he added.

In turn, Ualá has a special functionality, aimed at teenagers which consists of the same Mastercard that must be authorized by the parents.

In addition, parents can decide what balance to charge and then control where the money was spent.

“For minors, you fill out an application and they have to be authorized by the parents. Help them start managing their finances. They can only spend the money that the parents charge them. There are no risks, “she said.

Report by Lucía González.


Let Not Be Fooled! Check Here 158 Officially Registered Loans at OJK

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The Financial Services Authority (OJK) has re-released a list of financial technology companies or fintech which has been officially registered with the authority.

As of August 5, 2020, the total number of organizers fintech registered and licensed companies are 158 companies.

There is 1 maintainer fintech peer to peer lending (P2P) (online loan, pinjol) which changed its name, namely PT Lufax Technology Indonesia changed its name to PT Ringan Teknologi Indonesia.

“OJK urges the public to use the organizing services fintech peer to peer lending who have registered / licensed from OJK, “said OJK in its press release, Friday (7/8/2020).

Licensed Fintech Lending company and registered with the OJK.  (Doc: OJK)
Licensed Fintech Lending company and registered with the OJK.  (Doc: OJK)
Licensed Fintech Lending company and registered with the OJK.  (Doc: OJK)
Licensed Fintech Lending company and registered with the OJK.  (Doc: OJK)
Licensed Fintech Lending company and registered with the OJK.  (Doc: OJK)
Licensed Fintech Lending company and registered with the OJK.  (Doc: OJK)
Licensed Fintech Lending company and registered with the OJK.  (Doc: OJK)
Licensed Fintech Lending company and registered with the OJK.  (Doc: OJK)Photo: Licensed Fintech Lending company and registered with the OJK. (Doc: OJK)
Licensed Fintech Lending company and registered with the OJK. (Doc: OJK)

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“Alfa-Bank” opened the first Phygital-office | Rusbase

In Moscow on the street Maroseyka very first office of “Alfa-Bank”, performed in accordance with the concept of Phygital. The Department combines physical and digital service channels. Rusbase about it have told in a press-Bank service.

“Alfa-Bank” opened the first Phygital office

Ekaterina Kochkina

In Phygital office offers several innovations.

  • Biometrics. Office system learns the face of a customer when he enters the room, if the customer previously gave his consent to it. It then sends the information about the visitor to the Bank employee. The accuracy of face recognition — 98%.
  • Planning a visit to. In a mobile application you will be requested to choose the preferred time of visit.
  • The lack of documents in paper form. All documents are signed and stored in the smartphone.
  • No special working area. Employees and customers will be able to choose any convenient place to work in the office.

“After Phygital office on Maroseyka we are opening two new branches in Moscow, and in the fall we’ll start to scale this experience in our network across the country”, — said CEO of “Alfa-Bank” Vladimir Verkhoshansky.

In the next few months, the Bank, small Phygital-the office will be open on Technopark and the flagship office at the Kuznetsk bridge. In the fall of 2020, the Bank will begin the gradual transformation of the entire network, which, according to its own data, has 525 offices in Moscow and regions of Russia.


Deutsche Bank loses its digital strategist

Markus Pertlwieser

The digital expert at Deutsche Bank leaves the company with an unknown destination.

Frankfurt Deutsche Bank is facing a prominent departure: Markus Pertlwieser, previously the top digital strategist in Deutsche Bank’s private customer business, will leave the institute in the foreseeable future. A corresponding report by the “Manager Magazin” was confirmed in financial circles. Deutsche Bank did not want to comment on the information.

Pertlwieser’s farewell is a loss for the institute. The former partner of the management consultancy McKinsey was the head behind the bank’s strategy towards a platform concept that has long been propagated by CEO Christian Sewing. “Either we become a fairly interchangeable provider of financial products that are sold on large platforms. Or we want to be the ones who design the shelves, ”Sewing postulated at the banking summit in the Handelsblatt in 2018.

Pertlwieser had expressed himself similarly several times. Among other things, the digital boss had introduced digital asset manager Robin or Deutsche Bank’s interest rate market at Deutsche Bank, through which customers can use fixed-term deposits from other banks. In doing so, he created in-house competition for his own products – a procedure with which he not only made friends in the group.

However, the institute’s tough austerity measures had recently significantly curtailed Pertlwieser’s room for maneuver. According to Finanzkreise, the bank is looking for an external partner for the further development of “Yunar”, an app for bonus programs for a virtual wallet (“Mobile Wallet”), because they no longer want to make the necessary investments on their own. Ultimately, Yunar could also be sold.

However, this is just one example of the bank’s shrinking digital ambitions. As the last component of Pertlwieser’s agenda, the bank wants to activate a digital insurance broker on Monday, according to financial circles – initially for 100,000 customers, then over the summer for all customers of the institute.

This means that digital expert Pertlwieser no longer has an exciting task in his riding. Pertlwieser and the bank had apparently not been able to agree on any other use for him that would have appealed to him.

More: Amazon is the big role model in platform economy


The end of the special stage is postponed again

Munich / Frankfurt The completion of the special audit at Wirecard shifts again. “Wirecard AG was recently informed by the auditing firm KPMG that KPMG will present the results of the ongoing special investigation on Monday, April 27, 2020,” the group said on Wednesday evening.

“In the remaining days, incoming data should be processed and taken into account,” is the official reason for the postponement. From an investor’s perspective, it was particularly important: “No evidence was found for the publicly alleged manipulation of the balance sheet,” the group continued.

Specifically, in the four business areas covered by the audit order, third-party partner business, pre-financing of receivables and the activities in India and Singapore, “there have been no substantial findings that would have required correction for the annual financial statements in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 investigation period.”

KPMG has been checking the balance sheets of the payment service provider from Aschheim near Munich since October 2019. This was preceded by a year-long debate on Wirecard’s business practices. For the final report now announced for Monday, Wirecard again promises to make it available on the homepage.

Serious allegations

Numerous serious allegations prompted the special audit. Since January 2019, the British business newspaper Financial Times (FT) has published a series of articles on opaque contracts and dubious partners of the group. Above all, the inconsistencies in the important Asian business raised bad suspicions: Has Wirecard manipulated its balance sheet?

After the pressure had risen for months, Wirecard attempted the exemption in October – and commissioned KPMG’s auditors to carry out a special audit of the balance sheets from 2016 to 2018. Today’s postponement represents the second extension of the audit period.

The group had already presented a partial report of the test results at a late hour on March 12. At that time, however, the auditors only achieved partial information about the accounting methods at Wirecard.

They only brought light into three of the four sub-areas examined. The auditors made initial relief statements on two company acquisitions in India in 2015, on financial irregularities at the Asian headquarters in Singapore and on the area of ​​pre-financing of receivables, also known as “Merchant Cash Advance” (MCA). The group defines MCA as loans to small retailers who use the Wirecard platform for their payment transactions.

“From today’s perspective, these parts of the special investigation did not result in any substantive findings in these investigation areas, which would lead to the need for correction for the annual financial statements in the investigation period 2016, 2017 and 2018”, Wirecard had announced in March.

Problematic third parties

At that time, the auditors did not allow themselves to make any statements regarding the particularly important fourth point: the controversial third-party business – i.e. the question of which parts of Wirecard’s sales were generated with the help of external companies.

In October, the FT had posted clear doubts about cash flows via partners in Dubai and Ireland in a ten-page article. The report was enriched by internal and external documents. The focus was on Wirecard’s partner Al Alam from Dubai. This is a so-called “third party acquirer”, which handles the payment transactions in countries where Wirecard does not have its own licenses.

The essence of the allegations: According to FT, Al Alam should have generated around half of its consolidated earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation in 2016. According to the newspaper, the company from Dubai was responsible for sales of EUR 265 million and an “Ebitda effect” of EUR 173 million, according to internal documents.

According to the FT, the business of 34 key Wirecard customers was processed through Al Alam in 2016. They came from the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Japan.

As a result, the newspaper said it had tried to contact all of these business partners. Accordingly, 15 of them had never heard of the Al Alam name, six did not answer, five could not be identified, and eight of them had already stopped doing business.

Wirecard boss Markus Braun had always denied all these allegations. Now he should feel confirmed by the statement approved by KPMG that no “evidence of balance sheet manipulation” was found in the third-party business either. The mood in the group is good, reports a Wirecard manager. But KPMG wanted to be very precise.

Time-consuming examination

The special test was carried out with great effort. In the meantime, around 40 auditors rummaged through the balance sheets. These had already been approved by the long-standing group auditor EY, whose care, however, was in doubt. The audit is tricky for KPMG: Society knows that its reputation is now at stake.

Today’s “Day X” was planned for Wednesday, the moment of truth. Management hoped to finally draw a line under the accusations of the past with the publication of the test report. The fact that the publication is now postponed a second time shortly before the end after half a year of the exam shows how high the stakes are – and how far the Dax-Newcomer Wirecard is still far from the standard of other large corporations.

Why the relocation? According to insiders, KPMG also checked incoming numbers from third parties earlier this week. Wirecard now officially justifies the extension. According to groups of companies, the data with a probability bordering on certainty did not contain any greater risk for the balance sheet – nevertheless, they are not irrelevant and must be checked by KPMG.

Apparently, it is not only late-arrival data sets that cause problems. According to insiders, Wirecard is also struggling with KPMG to clarify the wording of the test report. There is relief in the most important – on the balance sheet – points, such as the allegation of so-called roundtripping, the invention of sales. Nevertheless, the auditors had made numerous negative findings, for example regarding compliance and internal processes.

Now the question is how serious the corresponding complaints in the test report were. The KPMG auditors formulated significantly more negative than expected, it is said from corporate circles. The corresponding talks continued.

Change in the supervisory board

Wirecard’s new Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Thomas Eichelmann, oversees the review. According to two people familiar with the matter, there is a change on his committee. The previous supervisory board member Susana Quintana-Plaza is promoted to the operational board of the Portuguese oil and gas group Galp Energia and leaves the Wirecard committee at the request of the Galp owner family.

The successor is apparently already certain: A “very well-known personality” should therefore take the place of Quintana-Plaza and strengthen the competence in the control committee. First, the “Wirtschaftswoche” reported on the possible exit. This should not be related to the special test.

With the coming Monday there is now a new end date for the KPMG audit. However, a third extension of the review period is hardly possible: Wirecard plans to publish its 2019 annual balance sheet on April 30. And the group auditor EY apparently does not want to test this without the final KPMG assessment for the special audit.

The payment processor can no longer afford to make mistakes. The KPMG report is sure to attract the keen attention of investors, analysts and regulators. According to insiders, he is also being studied closely by the financial regulator Bafin.

More: Alleged balance sheet fraud, dubious partner: Wirecard has been at the center of criticism for over a year.


Apple Pay now also at Germany’s Volksbanken

The customers of the 841 Volksbanken now have extended options for contactless payment

Frankfurt The German Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken are on Tuesday Apple Pay started. This was announced by the Federal Association of Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken (BVR). First the newsletter “Finanz-Szene” reported about it.

In addition to the 800 or so Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken, according to the BVR, for example, the cooperative PSD banks are also starting with Apple Pay – but only months after the competition. The Sparkassen as the strongest competitor and Commerzbank have been offering the payment service of the tech group Apple to their customers since December Deutsche Bank as well as among others the smartphone bank N26 and the online bank ING join in even longer. The cooperative banks also wanted to start in 2019, but postponed the start at the beginning of December.

Paying by smartphone is just beginning in Germany. In addition to Apple Pay was already in summer 2018 Google Pay started, and various banks had developed their own payment apps. So far, however, only a few consumers have used the smartphone to pay at the checkout. According to various surveys, the proportion is between three and 30 percent.

In the course of the corona crisis, however, payment behavior could change significantly – at the expense of cash and, above all, in favor of card payments, but also paying by smartphone. According to the consulting firm Oliver Wyman, the share of cash payments after sales could drop to 32 percent by 2025 – and thus significantly faster than previously expected. For the past year, they estimate the cash share at 47 percent.

For Apple Pay, however, users usually still need a credit card. The Girocard, better known under its old name “EC card”, is much more widespread with 100 million in circulation, but is not yet available for Apple Pay. Some banks, including Volksbanken, are now offering their customers digital debit cards from the credit card company Mastercard at.

In this way, they want to ensure that not only a small proportion of customers can use Apple Pay. The cooperative banks have around 26 million current accounts, but according to the BVR have only issued five million credit cards.

More: The limit for contactless payment by Girocard is expected to rise to 50 euros.


Fintechs feel disadvantaged when it comes to credit distribution

Berlin The run on the new quick loans from the state development bank KfW has started. But fintechs hardly play a role in the distribution of funds, and that annoys the young technology-driven financial companies: “It stunned me that the house bank principle should also apply to quick loans for small and medium-sized companies,” criticized Marko Wenthin, head of the online bank for business customers, Penta .

Although KfW is completely at risk with these loans, an entire market sector, the fintechs, is excluded from this lending process.

On Wednesday, the federal government opened another protective shield for corona-damaged companies. Companies with ten or more employees can apply for a KfW quick loan, which is 100 percent secured by the federal government. However, to the annoyance of the fintechs, these loans are only allowed to pass through the house banks such as savings banks, Volksbanks or private banks.

For the Penta boss, the fintechs, who are subject to bank regulation or use processes approved by the financial regulator Bafin, are predestined to participate in this public funding program. “We carry out the highest banking standards to identify our customers, the so-called KYC process (Know Your Customer), and can scale quickly thanks to our digital expertise,” said Wenthin.

The co-boss of the financial services provider for the self-employed, Kontist, agrees with the criticism. “After all, it is unreasonable to expect Penta, Kontist or other digital financial service providers to turn to a savings bank or cooperative bank especially for public aid,” says Sibylle Strack.

The Federal Ministry of Economics, however, assumes that only the use of established procedures ensures that the loans arrive at the company as quickly as possible. For this reason, lending within the framework of the KfW special program is based on the established house bank principle with the banks accredited by KfW, explained a spokeswoman. Even with a 100 percent liability waiver, certain customary bank procedures would have to be followed.

In contrast, the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) is open to criticism. “We are constantly reviewing proposals to further improve government aid programs. This also includes the proposal to involve fintechs in KfW lending, ”emphasized a spokeswoman. The chairman of the Fintech Council, who is located at the BMF, does not see the door slammed yet. “The processes are constantly being optimized at high pressure. I also see the greatest potential for working with fintechs there, ”said Chris Bartz.

Ineffective aids

Fintechs are not only criticizing the practice of granting KfW quick loans. For Kontist’s co-boss, the Corona emergency aids for self-employed persons and small businesses “go beyond the realities of life”. Her main criticism: Unlike the KfW quick loans for companies with ten or more employees, this aid should not be used as an entrepreneur’s wage. “Legislators must ensure the same conditions as quickly as possible, otherwise our clients will quickly face Hartz IV for basic security”, demands Strack. Hundreds of thousands of self-employed people could be affected.

The Federal Ministry of Economics does not explain why the emergency aid may not be used as entrepreneurial wages. But the ministry justifies the exceptions in the quick loan as follows: If the KfW quick loan is drawn on, a distribution of profits and dividends is excluded. “Due to the loan terms of up to ten years, customary market remuneration to business owners is excluded,” said the spokeswoman.

Not only fintechs like Penta and Kontist see opportunities in the corona crisis to offer help for their customers. FinAPI sees its strengths in fraud prevention. According to Florian Haagen, head of Fintech, which offers interfaces to bank accounts, among other things, applicants should be checked when granting emergency aid. “There are cases where fraudsters apply for emergency aid with little publicly available or undercover information,” he says. “In order to prevent fraud, we recommend checking whether the applicant is actually a so-called beneficial owner and the specified account is in their name or the company.”

This control is often difficult or impossible to do manually. Together with its parent company, the Schufa economic information file, FinAPI therefore offers banks the appropriate technology with which they can automatically check the applications and validate the account details provided. One is already “in very concrete talks” with various institutes.

More: Fintechs – That could be the crisis winners and losers.


Banking industry doubles limit for contactless payments

Contactless payments

Since the beginning of the corona crisis, consumers have increasingly paid for their purchases by card.

(Photo: dpa)

Frankfurt / Berlin The first Girocard owners in Germany have been able to pay amounts of up to 50 euros contactless at the supermarket till Wednesday, as it were. The German credit industry (DK) doubled the limit for card payments without entering a PIN in retail from 25 to 50 euros per use. The banking industry had announced the move to support contactless payment as a “hygienic payment method” in the current situation.

The first customers can pay at dealers in Hamburg, Kassel, Frankfurt and Munich at the higher limit, as the DK announced. Comprehensive changes would then follow. “It can be assumed that numerous other retailers will switch over the next few weeks and months due to the high level of interest in this solution.”

“Contactless” means that the customer does not have to insert his credit card or Girocard into a device. The data is encrypted and exchanged with the terminal at the cash register when the card is held up in front of the reader. With small amounts, it is not even necessary to enter the secret number (PIN).

According to the banking industry, 75 million of the over 100 million Girocards in Germany are now equipped with the contactless function. In the face of the corona virus pandemic, many stores are encouraging customers to pay in this way to avoid potential transmission. Credit card providers like Mastercard had recently raised the limit for contactless payments.

More: Consumers are increasingly paying for purchases in the corona crisis by card.