Digital SMEs have been categorized as underbanked or unbanked segments for quite some time, even though they have crucial contributions to the economy; in Indonesia alone, SMEs are contributing 60 per cent of the country’s GDP while absorbing 97 per cent of the local workforce.

“As one of the first fintech companies that focus on helping them, we have experienced their spirit and creativity in building a sustainable business that resulted in remarkable impact for the country,” said Benedicto Haryono, CEO and Co-Founder of KoinWorks, an online peer-to-peer financing platform for small and medium-sized businesses in Indonesia.

But not everything is rosy, as based on the Digital SME Confidence Index research that was done by KoinWorks last year, the majority of Indonesian SMEs are facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an average confidence index of 2.37 out 5.

However, the same research also shows that SMEs that have more than one sales channel — after expanding to online marketplace, social media, or creating a website – tend to have less of an income drop.

The trading industry, for example, can even reach a high confidence index of 4.7 from 5.00, likely because of the online transaction boost that happened after the government applied the large-scale social restriction. This shows that digital support for SMEs has a positive impact amid the pandemic.

Supporting SME growth even through the pandemic

Through innovation, KoinWorks has enabled thousands of SMEs to access credit and financing that would normally be inaccessible to them through traditional financial institutions. Since 2016, KoinWorks has become the pioneer in the Digital SME sector by collaborating with prominent tech companies in Indonesia, such as Tokopedia, Shopee, Lazada, Moka, Pawoon, Mekari, and BukuKas. Because of those partnerships, the loan approval process for SME owners can be more efficient.

“In the age of technology, it’s easier for us to diversify our investment according to our risk profile and financial purpose. For example people can choose peer to peer loans and government bonds for their short term investment and gold for long investment. In KoinWorks, you can do it without having to switch apps,” said Dani Rachmat Kurniawan, an Investor of KoinWorks and Certified Financial Planner.

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On average, KoinWorks’s lender can get 18.37 per cent in annual yield. With a low Non-Performing Loan rate of 1.2 per cent, KoinWorks has strengthened its business and has achieved profitability earlier this year. KoinWorks as a Super Financial App has a multiverse of products generating Take Rate up to 6% of their balance, through platform fees and partner fees.

With the COVID-19 outbreak that has disturbed economic stability in Indonesia, KoinWorks worked on supporting SMEs that could not quickly adapt to the situation by providing a loan restructure program for several borrowers, prolonging their payment to 24 months and reducing the monthly repayment.

In 2020, around 12 per cent of KoinWorks’ borrowers have restructured their loans. However, it has decreased to only 4 per cent this year. In comparison, it is lower than several banks that restructured more than 20 per cent of their loan portfolio.

Paving the way for a strong P2P finance ecosystem

The restructuring process not only helps the borrowers in managing their cash flow, but also lenders in getting their full repayment.

Kurniawan said that he understood the risk before deciding to invest in KoinWorks, which is why he kept investing in the platform despite some restructure that happened to several of his loan portfolios.

“I believe KoinWorks will do their best to get the payment sooner or later because it’s a fintech company that has a license from OJK (Indonesia’s Financial Service Authority). It also offered convenience for me to diversify my portfolio by allowing lenders to invest as low as IDR 100.000. It’s a good feature that many P2P lending companies don’t have,” he said.

On the other hand, loan restructuring has been proven to help all SMEs to survive in these hard times, indirectly giving a positive contribution for the recovery of the national economy. Currently, 82% of SMEs that have loan restructuring facilities have been able to stabilize their income and do full repayment.

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Dedy, the owner of a Jogja-based bed sheet brand called Jaxine, is one of the SMEs that had his loan restructured in KoinWorks. He started availing of KoinWorks credit facilities in 2016, and topped up again in 2018. When the pandemic happened, he called it a horrific time in running a business.

The loan restructuring on KoinWorks helped reduce his monthly repayment from IDR 50 million (around US$3,400) to only IDR 30 million (around US$2,000) per month.

“Honestly, I can’t be here if I did not get help at that time,” he said. Today, Dedy’s business continues to grow and helps maintain employment for his 40 employees.

Arias Sudiarta, owner of a used car dealer called ARS Auto Car, also got breathing room through the loan restructuring facility from KoinWorks that helped him manage his business cash flow and prevent staff layoff.

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a steep decline in his monthly sales from IDR 3.5 billion to around IDR 1 billion. “However, it currently has increased 250 per cent to IDR 2.5 billion per month,” he said.

KoinWorks will release the Digital SME Confidence Index Report for H1 2021 in August.

You can read the Digital SME Confidence Index Report Q4 2020 on this link.

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This article is produced by the e27 team, sponsored by Koinworks.

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