Indonesia-based Bank Mandiri is, reportedly, hoping to attract 1m new customers through its new mobile phone-based cash payment product, e-cash, which is scheduled for launch in January 2014.
The move by the lender is intended to expand its network and reach 130m people without bank accounts across the country.
e-cash is a debit system that is linked to mobile phone numbers instead of bank accounts. To use the system, users should initially deposit money at e-cash agents such as shops or kiosks and then can draw the funds for transfers and payments through their mobiles.
Hoping that e-cash users will become its conventional banking customers, Bank Mandiri micro and retail banking director Hery Gunardi was quoted by JakartaGlobe as saying that this is one of the platforms for branchless banking.
The central bank of the country, Bank Indonesia, launched the branchless banking initiative, which allows local banks to offer customers with banking services such as opening accounts, placing deposits, withdrawing cash and transferring money without the need for customers to visit their branches.
The initiative also allows banks to extend their services across the country.