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MEF recently hosted the third annual MEF Connects Indonesia in Jakarta in association with Indosat/Ooredoo. The event was supported by TIMWE Group and Bango. MEF Asia GM Linda Ruck shares highlights and photos from the night.

With a population fast approaching 260 million, Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country and the third-largest smartphone market in the Asia-Pacific region (following China and India).

A mobile first nation, Indonesian’s love social media, with Facebook (fourth largest user base in the world), Instagram and Twitter ruling – while mobile money has made great progress, cash is still king.

The evening kicked off with a fascinating keynote presented by Randy Pangalila who provided statistics on the state of the Indonesian market,  a huge population going digital and a country benefiting from financial inclusion with an expanding online commerce sector worth USD 8,237 million.

However, he also highlighted is is a market facing some massive obstacles including regulatory and infrastructure challenges as the country works towards its total digital transformation. While mobile money paves the way, it faces challenges due to the country’s geographical and infrastructural limitations, issues around trust and security and a need to better educate and engage with customers and stakeholders.

Rama Mamuaya, Editor of DailySocial then kicked off an enthusiastic panel session asking the panellists their opinions on, ‘What was the big thing in mobile last year’? The panelists all agreed that mobile payments continue to ride the wave of disruptive apps such as local transport logistics and payments startup GO-JEK founded in 2010.

The panel agreed that for 2017 fintech will continue its upward rise and we’ll see an increase in alternative payment methods. E-commerce was predicted to continue its explosive climb and is expected to be Asia’s next biggest e-commerce market. The panel also cited developments in artificial intelligence as a key area of interest going into 2017.

Guests then had the opportunity to discuss further over refreshments and the tropical ambience. A big thank you to our co-host Indosat/ooredoo and sponsors Bango and TIMWE Group for a great evening.

Linda Ruck