The Indonesian blockchain startup HARA recently announced a partnership with Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), making it the first project that bridges the gap between blockchain and banks in the country. A partnership with a well-established bank like BNI has not been seen before within the Indonesian blockchain scene. The state-owned BNI is one of the largest banks in Indonesia with branches all across the archipelago and is one of the banks that the Indonesian government appointed to disburse a subsidized microcredit to smallholder farmers in the country’s rural areas.
The subsidized microcredit is one of many national economic initiatives aimed at improving access to finance for small to medium enterprises in Indonesia. However, established banks face their own challenges in directly distributing microcredit to those enterprises. In order to grant the microcredit loans, BNI needs data from the farmers ranging from their ID to the land they own and what crops they plant. However, getting this information in the rural hinterlands of Indonesia has proven slow and troublesome.
“It can take up to one week for manual data acquisition, because we have to visit the locations. It can be quicker for locations that are easier to reach, but for ones that are further away and remote, it takes longer to finish,” says Allan Bambang, branch manager of BNI in Situbondo.
It is here where HARA’s blockchain-based data exchange provides the solution. On the open data-exchange, smallholder farmers are incentivized to input their data themselves, doing away with the need for the bank to go out and collect the data themselves. Thus, the data that HARA provides streamlines the entire process, making the whole process more efficient and inclusive, enabling more farmers to apply for the credit.
“By providing data on the farmers’ identity, HARA basically helped BNI to the data they need to provide microcredits. Before they only had data from the government, which is not sufficient nor reliable in these remote areas,” commented Lisa Irawati, Head of Operations at HARA.
HARA’s data collection model helps ease the administrative process for the loan applications. The data gathered in the HARA data exchange will equip BNI with the relevant information for risk analysis in the loan approval process. The first phase of HARA’s pilot project already resulted in 90 loan applications from 2 villages in the East Java.
The collaboration gives a clear signal that governments and financial institutions are taking the breakthrough technology ever more seriously and see that its implementation can also bring greater benefits for both the society and themselves. The partnership between HARA and BNI will be a great step in improving the lives of the many people living in the remote areas of Indonesia.
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