PT Bank Jasa Jakarta (BJJ), owned by financial business unit Astra Financial and fintech firm WeLab since 2022, have on Monday launched Bank Saqu, a digital banking service, as a financial partner for individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia with a solopreneur spirit.

The duo said in a joint statement that the launch of Bank Saqu is in line with the vision of BJJ to become a preferred retail and SME bank, built on strong ecosystems and integrated financial functions, driving Indonesia’s digital economy forward.

Suparno Djasmin, Director of Astra and Director-in-Charge of Astra Financial said the presence of Bank Saqu is a manifestation of their aspirations to provide prime and leading financial services for the retail segment and SME and the welfare of society.

“This has complemented and strengthened the Astra Group’s financial services ecosystem, as well as supporting efforts to increase financial literacy and inclusion in Indonesia,” he said.

He explained that each new business within the Astra Group expected to contribute optimally to all stakeholders.

In addition, he said every step of the business unit is always directed in accordance with Astra’s aspirations, namely, prosperity together with the nation.

“In the scope of Astra Financial such as Bank Saqu, Astra wants its presence to become a financial partner for the welfare of the Indonesian society,” he added.

Meanwhile, Simon Loong, Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of WeLab said they are excited to see the launch of Bank Saqu, WeLab’s second digital bank in Asia, which aligns with the strategic focus on expanding our presence and delivering tech-driven financial services, having started in Hong Kong, and now Indonesia.

“We have greatly accelerated the delivery of this new digital bank system, from 18-24 months for most market players, to a record time of six months riding on our proven digital banking technology and knowhow behind our first licensed digital bank in Hong Kong,

“Together with Astra, we look forward to leveraging our complementary strengths to propel the growth of Bank Saqu and contribute to the Indonesian banking industry digitalization,” he added.

It is noted that the name Bank Saqu itself phonetically sounds like ‘Bangsa-ku’, meaning ‘my nation’ and reflecting the aspiration to be the financial service of choice for the Indonesian people, and also ‘Saku,’ meaning ‘pockets’ and relating to one of the flagship features of the saving pocket.

According to the statement, Bank Saqu targets the younger generation, especially solopreneurs in Indonesia, encompassing small business owners, freelancers, and even full-time employees juggling side hustles.

This segment proactively seeks ways to grow, save more, invest more, or even borrow for productive efforts, to achieve more in the future.

Cited the study “Solopreneur: Indonesia’s New Economic Force — An Untapped Opportunity” conducted by Segarra Research Institute in 2023, the duo estimated there will be around 117 million of solopreneurs by 2030, whereby one out of three Indonesians will engage in solopreneurship, contributing to 36 percent to future gross domestic product (GDP).

However, they said they often face challenges like inconsistent income and complicated financial management.

“Our services are created to redefine how solopreneur should manage their money, both in personal and business,

“With multiple distinct pockets (Saku) within a single banking app, solopreneurs can strategically manage their finances, allocate resources, and witness their businesses flourish,” said Leo Koesmanto, President Director of Bank Jasa Jakarta.

He added that with local market insights and the extensive ecosystem coverage of Astra, both offline and online, along with the technological expertise brought by WeLab, Bank Saqu
will have various unique advantages in the digital financial services landscape in Indonesia.

As the financial partner for the solopreneurs, the duo said Bank Saqu’s goal goes beyond offering customized products to customers; it also focuses on financial education and providing a seamless experience to empower solopreneur-spirited individuals on their financial journey.

Astra Financial is a brand within the financial services division of PT Astra International Tbk, with total assets amounting to Rp 166 trillion as of December 2022.

Astra Financial has served over 24.7 million customers, supported by more than 29,000 employees and 910 networks throughout the archipelago.

WeLab, a pan-Asian fintech platform, operates WeLab Bank as well as multiple online financial services with leading positions in Hong Kong, China, and Indonesia, with over 60 million individual users and over 700 enterprise customers.

Powered by proprietary risk management technology, patented privacy computing techniques, and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, the bank offers mobile-based consumer financing solutions and digital banking services to retail individuals and technology solutions to enterprise customers.

The firm operates in three markets under multiple brands, including WeLend, and WeLab Bank in Hong Kong, various business lines in Mainland China, Maucash and Bank Jasa Jakarta in Indonesia.

WeLab is backed by the most renowned investors including Allianz, China Construction Bank International, International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group), CK Hutchison’s TOM Group, and Sequoia Capital.

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