Exclusive: Jakarta to use e-payments data to track SME growth

By Medha Basu

New partnerships and trials for tech to improve tax collection and monitor economic trends.

The Jakarta government will partner with payments apps to monitor the growth and performance of SMEs, the city’s head of tech has told GovInsider.

The government will sign an MOU with startup Go-Jek whose payment platform, Go-Pay, is one among two dominant mobile payment platforms in Indonesia. “We are in the process of making an MOU with Go-Pay for exchanging data between us,” said Atika Nur Rahmania.

Payments apps are widely used by entrepreneurs in Jakarta for transactions with customers and suppliers, she added. “We will also capture the progress of the companies through a combination of our big data with the startup data. We have to monitor how they're doing and how they make their companies even bigger,” she said.

The partnership with payments apps is part of a wider focus on using tech to improve the city’s financials. Another area of work is using CCTV video analytics to identify drivers who have not complied with the city’s vehicle tax requirements, Atika added.

The government is running a proof of concept with local video analytics startup Nodeflux. “Our cooperation is with a local startup to make POC on how we can capture the non-complying taxpayer, especially for vehicle tax,” she said.

The trial will identify vehicle number plates from CCTV images and check these against the city’s database of tax-paying residents to pick out those who have not paid taxes, she said. This information is sent to an app used by tax officers who will flag down these vehicles to issue a ticket and get their payments through apps like Go-Pay, she said. “With this kind of technology, we can improve our efficiency in tax collection and also we gather more data on the tax compliance”.

Atika wants startups to pitch their ideas for how tech can solve the city’s problems. “We open our problems and what are our priorities”. She wants Jakarta to be seen as a “lab” for companies to test their solutions before they are deployed elsewhere in the city and in other Indonesian cities.

Jakarta has encouraged the companies to conduct trials of their tech before going through formal tender processes. Atika hopes that this will help cut red tape for SMEs to engage with the government, while giving city officials to understand and see if the tech solves their problems.

“We are trying for the POC first to make sure that it fits our problems. We define the business models that we can have between the Jakarta Smart City and the startup, and then we come up with the MOU”, she said.