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Seamless Digital Experiences and Frontier Technologies Underpin Growth of Indonesia’s Innovation-led Financial Ecosystem

Witthaya Prasongsin

• While nine in 10 Indonesians (90%) in VMware Digital Frontiers 3.0 study are embracing contactless payments, 24% still feel that financial services organizations have failed to adapt or improve services to changing industry

• Security remains a cornerstone of any digital experience, with 79% of those surveyed stating that security is the number one priority for them in choosing a financial services provider, next to ease of use in consumer apps and digital services (70%)

• Indonesia’s financial ecosystem needs to create a secure digital foundation to accelerate innovation as surveyed consumers place high trust in technologies of the future including connected devices (85%), 5G (85%) and facial recognition (85%)

INDONESIA, July 22, 2021 – Indonesia’s financial services industry has taken a big digital leap forward during the pandemic last year, but key gaps need to be bridged to create a robust and trusted digital foundation to gain a competitive edge, according to VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW). The VMware Digital Frontiers 3.0 Study found that the financial services battleground has moved online with nine in 10 Indonesians (90%) indicating that they have shifted their preference from cash to contactless payments, leading other surveyed countries in Southeast Asia: Singapore (88%), Philippines (76%), Malaysia (87%) and Thailand (85%). Despite the increasing adoption of digital banking platforms, almost one-quarter (24%) of Indonesians still feel that the financial services organizations have failed to adapt or improve services to the changing industry. This suggests an urgent need for the industry to harness cutting-edge innovations to delight consumers.

Indonesian consumers are moving fast to the new digital-first environment and embracing new, digital experiences. According to the same study, 58% of Indonesians have expressed excitement in engaging with financial services organizations, as compared to regional counterparts in Singapore (44%), the Philippines (57%), Malaysia (56%), and Thailand (62%). With 53% of Indonesians now choosing to engage with their banks via apps rather than visiting them in person at a branch, delivering a seamless and effective application is becoming a core priority for consumers. Indeed, 70% of consumers have indicated that easy-to-consume apps and digital services are priorities for them when choosing a financial services provider. This positions them as the highest in Southeast Asia next to Thailand (80%), as compared to Singapore (61%), the Philippines (63%) and Malaysia (67%). 

Even as more than half (59%) of Indonesian respondents felt that financial services firms delivered better digital experiences last year as compared to retail, healthcare, government, and education organizations; the industry needs to focus on the core fundamentals that will continue to enable great digital experiences for consumers: a high level of security and protection of data (53%), ease of use across devices (51%) and fast speed of service (40%). 

“Indonesia’s financial services industry has moved quickly into the digital realm in the wake of the pandemic, with seamless digital experiences, cutting-edge innovations built on technologies of the future now being the mainstream way of how consumers interact with their banks,” said Cin Cin Go, Country Manager, VMware Indonesia. “As Indonesia sets its sights on growing its position as Asia’s next Islamic finance hub, it will be important for businesses in Indonesia to stay resilient and competitive by harnessing technologies of the future such as Cloud to drive the transformation of its financial ecosystem and spearhead new growth for its digital economy. Beyond the digital play, support from the government to build an inclusive financial ecosystem will be key for Indonesia to better respond, adapt and accelerate business growth in today’s new digital paradigm.”

The future of finance is virtual in Indonesia

Indonesian consumers now prefer and expect digital options when they interact with the financial services sector. 58% of those surveyed say that their phones have become more important than their wallets, signalling their inclination for contactless and mobile payments, while 49% welcomed the thought of allowing an app to make the decisions of where to invest their money over an individual that works for the bank. This is significantly higher than the regional average of 41%.
On the topic of efficiency, Indonesians have also gained a better appreciation of the value of digital products and services with 57% of respondents agreeing that digital engagements with financial services organizations have freed up their time to focus on other priorities.

Optimism towards technologies of the future is high, but trust and security are still foremost concerns 

Indonesian consumers also demonstrated their enthusiasm and optimism towards technologies of the future, with the study revealing that they place high trust in a variety of frontier technologies including artificial intelligence (78%), 5G (85%) and facial recognition (85%) – higher than Southeast Asia’s average for each: artificial intelligence (70%), 5G (78%) and facial recognition (75%).
With that said, security remains the single most important factor, with 79% of surveyed Indonesian consumers stating that security is the number one priority for them in choosing a financial services provider. In addition, 51% shared that they feel paranoid that organizations are tracking and recording their personal data on their devices. The implication for financial services players is clear – to not only deliver on seamless and personalized experiences but showcase that consumers’ security is intrinsically baked into each application, platform and device.

Growing demands for an ethical and inclusive financial ecosystem

While Indonesia’s digital journey has been positive with 80% of consumers defining themselves as “digitally curious” or “digital explorers”, Indonesians are also increasingly focused on ethics and inclusivity of the financial ecosystem. 59% say that they’ll stop engaging with companies if they do not publicly share their ethical policies. Recognizing the importance of bridging the growing digital gap in the country, 57% of Indonesian respondents worry that older relatives in their lives cannot keep up with the new digital world and get the access to services they want and need. That said, majority of Indonesians (84%) are hopeful that technology will advance financial inclusion over the next decade.“DBS has been at the forefront of delivering intelligent, intuitive and invisible banking solutions to customers in our key markets. With Covid-19 greatly accelerating the adoption of digital behaviours, we have observed strong traction in the new digital banking technologies and solutions that DBS has rolled out over the past year, including hyper-personalized services powered by AI and facial biometrics for speedy and secure information authentication. Going forward, DBS will build on our strong partnership with technology partners such as VMware as we continue to innovate and deploy relevant digital banking solutions to shape the future of banking,” said Jimmy Ng, Group Chief Information Officer and Head of Technology & Operations, DBS. 

Technology key to accelerating economic growth and recovery 

Progressing into 2021, VMware outlines key priorities that will further strengthen the transformation of Indonesia’s innovation-led financial ecosystem:

• Empowering financial services organizations to build a multi-cloud and app future: Unlocking multi-cloud future with app-driven innovations in a consistent and more secure environment that enables continuous innovation

• Enabling innovation and productivity for a distributed workforce: Future-ready workforce solutions will enable a seamless and more secure digital employee experience, driving greater outcomes in the new world of work 

• Intrinsic security for uninterrupted innovation: An intrinsic approach to enterprise security will provide an additional layer of robust protection for mission-critical operations and infrastructures to fast-track business innovation and resilience

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About the VMware Digital Frontiers 3.0 Study

VMware Digital Frontiers 3.0 Study is a global multi-country study conducted from November – December 2020, surveying the behaviors, preferences and attitudes towards digital services and experiences in 2020 of 1,000 consumers per market from Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines), the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Findings from Southeast Asia represents an aggregated average from the five markets included in the study.   

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