An interview with Irianto Kusumadjaja


FST Media: What are your priorities for the next 12 to 18 months?

Kusumadjaja: Bank Andara’s priorities in the next 12 to 18 months are to strengthen existing technology, and have a more efficient operation system supported by the existing technology. We currently have several systems including core banking, mobile banking platform, switching, and a business process reengineering application, but we have not maximised the technology’s usage internally.

Another priority for us is to further explore how to implement and develop the existing system and application to support our operational efficiency program as well as our business processes.

FST Media: What technology or innovation is proving to be the single biggest game changer in financial services?

Kusumadjaja: Banks have been running a general business model but increased competition has forced them to innovate. However, innovating without a technology product base will be unlikely to continue.

FST Media: What will be the most significant challenge facing the microfinance industry in the years ahead?

Kusumadjaja: There is still the idea that microfinance businesses only provide small scale loans. The microfinance industry includes many businesses such as micro insurance, bill payments and more. The real challenge is how to provide adequate understanding of the microfinance industry’s products and services to the unbanked community, as well as understanding how banking products and services will be beneficial to them.

Based on coverage, mobile banking technology is more suitable to the unbanked community, but there are challenges as they are unlikely to easily adopt and trust new technology.

FST Media: How is partnering with microfinance institutions in Indonesia delivering value to Bank Andara, and how will you continue to grow customer engagement?

Kusumadjaja: Bank Andara was established in 2009 and has exclusively served as a strategic partner for the microfinance sector in Indonesia with the aim to realise poverty reduction through partnerships with Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), expanding financial access to low income and unbanked communities via a formal finance service.

Bank Andara is committed to partnering with MFIs to continue growing transaction volumes, products and services and capacity. We provide this commitment in the form of full support in training and workshops, products and services as well as technology support, in addition to providing loans.

Bank Andara has four branch offices that help us get closer and provide better service to MFI partners. We also provide venues for MFI training, workshops and gatherings.

FST Media: How will you build on the bank’s investment in software-enabled customer products such as ‘BPM+’ and how will you measure success?

Kusumadjaja: ‘BPM+’ is a part of our business process reengineering that will accelerate the loan application process. The operational processes will also become more efficient by identifying and resolving routine issues that arise during the loan approval process. We are optimistic that by having a faster credit approval process we will increase customer satisfaction and increase our capacity to handle more credit applications.

FST Media: How do you encourage a culture of innovation in your team?

Kusumadjaja: I always emphasise to my team: actively interact with the business team and know the bank’s vision and mission. Only then can they implement and optimise their expertise as well as actively address new ideas to add value and to keep thinking of new risk factors.

FST Media: What information sources do you consider invaluable for your job, and why?

Kusumadjaja: I consider seminars, workshops and social media to be invaluable. Even though some of the information cannot be implemented directly, that might be possible in the future. Also of importance is intensive communication with the peer group – the business team, for instance.

FST Media: What is your definition of success?

Kusumadjaja: My definition of success is how I realise my life goal targets. One of those is the contribution to my family and society. Talking about success at Bank Andara, my dream is that Bank Andara will be beneficial for the community. Success is providing value to the unbanked communities via formal financial service.