Newly launched LinkAja Syariah, Indonesia’s first Shariah compliant e-money platform, is exploring potential partnerships with other Islamic economy players including Waqf entities and Islamic boarding schools as it works on enhancing its services as a digital marketplace for Shariah compliant financial services and Halal products.
Unlike any other digital wallets in the Republic, the LinkAja Syariah app is in partnership with state-owned Islamic banks — Bank Syariah Mandiri, Bank Negara Indonesia and Bank Rakyat Indonesia, among others — and Halal merchants to ensure that all transactions are Shariah compliant. The platform also enables users to access financing from Shariah banks and other Islamic financial institutions.
“Aside from digitalizing transactions within the traditional market especially in this pandemic, the app can also be used to pay school fees in installments for instance,” Haryati Lawidjaja, CEO of LinkAja, shares with IFN.
Transactions for Qurbani, or the sacrifice of livestock for Eid, have also been digitalized — users can make orders and select a payment scheme via the app. In collaboration with Badan Pengelola Keuangan Haji, Indonesia’s Hajj fund manager, Hajj pilgrims can maintain their savings accounts via the app as well.
There are many potential areas for the app to further expand its services and reach. Widjayanto Djaenudin, the group head of Syariah at LinkAja, reveals to IFN: “We are currently looking at other ecosystems we can link up. Waqf is a big area, and there are 800,000 mosques in Indonesia. There are 26,000 Islamic boarding schools nationwide with over four million students — this is also a major ecosystem.”
But for now, the team is focusing on educating the market, and enriching its services for the masses and SMEs, who can use the platform to their advantage — whether to secure Islamic financing or become a Halal merchant.
“LinkAja Syariah was tasked to collaborate with all the stakeholders in the Shariah economy and Halal ecosystem to not only increase financial literacy and financial inclusion, but also to expand the service network to support the Halal industry,” Haryati noted.
It is a challenging task, and the LinkAja team is starting by coordinating with different segments. “We are looking at ecosystems. For instance, we are working with public Islamic boarding schools, religious communities and local governments to help us build awareness on Shariah compliant products and services that are available to their constituents,” shares Widjayanto.
The app’s performance since its launch in April 2020 is promising — according to Haryati, while the total number of new registered users is undisclosed, 50% of that number consists of users that migrated from the conventional LinkAja, and the other 50% are new users. “We are on track, and hopefully, given these numbers and trends, we can achieve one million monthly users by the end of this year.”