Mapan uses traditional financing method to aid rural communities

  • Is now connected to 900,000 members and 90,000 agents in 90 cities across Java and Bali
  • Focuses on local products with 70% of the items offered coming from Indonesia

 

Mapan uses traditional financing method to aid rural communities

 

THE Indonesian Financial Services Authority (OJK) and the financial services industry players have continuously held a range of financial education and inclusion programmes to increase financial literacy.

Based on an OJK survey conducted in 2016, Indonesian financial literacy stood at 29.66% compared to 21.84% in 2013.

Given these findings, Mapan (PT Ruma), a social enterprise that focuses on community-based financial technology services works towards increasing financial literacy and helping Indonesian families to change their financial habits.

Mapan offers microfinance services and enables users to access funds as well as information by empowering independently-owned shops or factories with technology in the form of a mobile app.

Mapan uses the concept of “Arisan” which is a form of rotating savings and credit association in Indonesian culture. It’s a form of microfinance.

Arisan is a social gathering that takes place at fixed intervals (as this is an informal social network, the intervals vary), at each member's home in turn. Members take turns to receive an amount of money previously deposited by all members. The order of people to which the funds are assigned is made by ballot.

Mapan chief executive and co-founder Aldi Haryopratomo began this venture to offer better access to financial services and education to communities, especially those in rural areas.

He points out that the challenge in financial education is not in providing knowledge, but also in knowing how to change the financial habits in a family.

“Financial education should be relevant to the needs of its audience. Arisan, which has been underestimated, is actually a strong and capable support group to encourage change for its members,” he says.

Mapan will build networks through agents or leaders from each city or village and these agents will recruit members to join Arisan Mapan. The funds as well as the balloting process will be the responsibility of each team.

As agents, they will be able to provide a variety of services to their community. They can earn an income by splitting the commission they receive from the discounted prices of product which is 10% for electronics and 5% for non-electronics.

Members can access the product catalogue, interact with each other, or ballot through the mobile app. Mapan will facilitate members’ needs for household goods such as furniture, electronics, and even garments.

By joining Arisan Mapan, each member in the team can access a variety of quality items that have been difficult to reach because the price is too high.

“So far, many Indonesian families buy goods through unofficial financial services such as loan sharks with very high instalments for low quality goods.

“Arisan Mapan solves this problem by providing high quality goods that can be purchased via a system where money is paid into a pool without an interest rate. Each member in the team is allowed to purchase different items. They just have to patiently wait for their names to be drawn to get the product,” Aldi explains.

Fulfilling needs

Aldi says that Mapan is focusing on developing a business model that does not rely on investment or funding.

“That’s why our margins need to be healthy and we need to get more members to become independent. If the demand from members increases, we will buy products at lower prices through manufactures in  bulk and generate revenue from it.”

Mapan also creates its own label for products by connecting to local small factories and 70% of its products are made in Indonesia.

“These factories have high-quality products but do not have access to the market, and we help them with that. We also want to create a strong foundation in local products,” he says.

Mapan is now connected to 900,000 members and 90,000 agents across 114 branch offices in 90 cities in Java and Bali. It aims to connect to one million members by the end of this year.

 

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