Indonesian President Calls for Scrapping Visa, MasterCard ‘to Be Independent’

Indonesian President Joko Widodo gestures during his annual speech at the parliament in Jakarta on August 16, 2022InternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovIndonesia, which is the world’s seventh largest economy in terms of GDP (PPP), launched a Domestic Government Credit Card payment system in March 2022.Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called for the country to scrap foreign payment networks, such as Visa and MasterCard, and instead using credit cards issued by domestic banks.

Speaking at a local business forum in Jakarta on Wednesday, Widodo stressed that "everyone [in Indonesia] should be able to use" the domestically made credit cards so that "we can be independent."

He said that the goal is to protect any transactions from possible geopolitical fallout that could disrupt the national economy.

"Be very careful. We must remember the sanctions imposed by the US on Russia. Visa and Mastercard could be a problem," the Indonesian president warned.

In March 2022, US-based Visa and MasterCard payment systems announced they were suspending operations in Russia to comply with US sanctions slapped on Moscow in response to its special military operation in Ukraine.Sberbank, one of Russia’s biggest banks, responded by issuing a statement that the Visa and Mastercard ban would not affect the operation of payment system cards issued by it within the country, but that payments abroad and in foreign online stores with Russian Visa and MasterCard cards would end. Widodo, for his part, made it clear at the time that his country is not going to sanction Russia.Indonesian President Calls for Scrapping Visa, MasterCard ‘to Be Independent’AsiaIndonesia, EAEU May Sign Free-Trade Agreement Within 2 Years, Russian Envoy Says11 February, 15:46 GMTThe president’s Wednesday remarks come after he launched the Domestic Government Credit Card and the International Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard payment systems.

During a speech at Bank Indonesia in March 2022, Widodo underscored that the launch of the above-mentioned payment systems "shows that Indonesia is following the pace of digital technology transformation in the economic sector."

Indonesia remains the seventh-largest economy in the world and the biggest in Southeast Asia in terms of gross domestic product based on purchasing power parity (GDP PPP). Statistics Indonesia data that was released last month indicated that the country’s economy expanded 5.31% in 2022, showing its best annual growth rate since 2013.


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