A network of cryptocurrency enabled Point-of-Sale (POS) payment devices has begun to spread in Indonesia, despite the ban by the central bank. Pundi X is laying the groundwork for Indonesian merchants to accept cryptocurrencies immediately after the rules are changed.
POS Roll-Out Begins
Pundi X, a Jakarta-based cryptocurrency payments startup, has reportedly started the deployment of its POS devices in Indonesia. According to its road map, the company expects to reach a minimum deployment of 50,000 XPOS units in total by Q1, 2019. Its states the mission is to make using cryptocurrency as easy as buying bottled water. “As the Walmart and 7-Eleven of cryptocurrency, we want users to buy and use cryptocurrency anytime, anywhere.”
In January, Bank Indonesia issued a warning to the public that it determined that cryptocurrencies are not to be used as payments in the country. It “affirms that virtual currency, including bitcoin, is not recognized as a valid payment instrument, so it is prohibited to be used as a means of payment in Indonesia.” However, this has not deterred the company as its devices support other means and it can thus deploy them now and let merchants turn on crypto payments when allowed. “The functionality for dealing in cryptocurrency is not automatic, it has to be activated when it is legally permissible in any jurisdiction that the POS is being deployed by the retail store owners,” David Ben Kay, Pundi X’s chief legal counsel told the South China Morning Post.
Electronic Money License
Pundi X has announced on May 25, 2018 that its fiat partner in Indonesia, E2Pay, has received an e-money license issued by the Indonesian Central Bank. Constantin Papadimitriou, co-founder and President of both ventures, commented at the time that “Pundi X will begin, in coming weeks, to ship our new XPOS device — loaded with the ability to process bank debit transactions, QR & NFC based payments, and mainstream payment methods, such as Visa, Mastercard, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay, with our partners — to expectant customers in Indonesia, while always maintaining compliance with the local regulations. The scope for synergies between E2Pay and Pundi X is apparent, and we will have more to say about these in the near future.”
Figures we published back in March show that cryptocurrencies remain very popular in Indonesia, despite the warnings of the country’s central bank. In fact, there is almost the same number of crypto traders as stock traders among the 261 million Indonesian citizens.