UNIK: The Latest Online Payment Startup in Indonesia


unik-indonesiaYou probably have heard this countless times: Online payment in Indonesia is a huge problem. There are many possible solutions, like payment through telecom operators billing, escrow services, or even having a representative merchant running around collecting cash.

These methods aren’t seamless, especially to folks who are used to buying things via Paypal or credit card. It’s a pain to buy things online in Indonesia. The good news is that more and more startups (and big banks too) are coming with their own online payment solutions. One of them is UNIK.

UNIK is run by founder David Ratner and his crew. The service is a mash up between PayPal and M-Pesa, a mobile network payment solution coupled with a network of banking agents. Here’s how David explained his product:

UNIK is an online and mobile e-money payment gateway that allows users to shop online, pay bills, top up air time, buy game vouchers, and pay using an escrow service. Future products will be money remittance and withdrawal at our rapidly developing agent network. Our channels include online, mobile, SMS, and in-store kiosks.

UNIK runs on a payment technology developed and powered by third-party partner. David, who didn’t reveal who that partner is told me that his payment technology is used by 13 countries across the world with over 10 million accounts operating on it. He explained further:

The technology powers Globe telecom’s Gcash deployment in the Philippines for example. Our instance has already passed a third party security audit as required by Bank Indonesia. […] This gives us a big advantage over other payment gateway startups in the country because this is not a system you want to create in the garage.

UNIK first launched in December 2011 and has so far signed up 17,000 users and is working with Tokopedia. UNIK has received funds from angel investors but is now looking for a second round of funding.

UNIK isn’t the only payment service available of course. Indomog, which Joshua Kevin featured last month, looks like a major competitor. Other services include Kaspay, iPaymu, and Inapay.

But there isn’t a clear winner in this space yet, and everyone is still hoping their company can be the Paypal of Indonesia. With so many options, it’s a little confusing, but it isn’t entirely a bad thing. It will help speed up the educational process and warm people up to the idea of online payment.

May the best service win!

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