Preemployment card program helps boost financial inclusion: Director – Business

The government’s preemployment card program has prompted 728,000 underbanked people to board e-wallet platforms and create a bank account for the first time, hence aiding financial inclusion in the country, the program director has said.

Preemployment program executive director Denni P. Purbasari said that currently, there were 5.59 million preemployment card recipients across the country, from 36.6 million online registrants.

“Before joining the preemployment program, 13 percent [of the recipients] did not have an e-wallet or access to the bank, now they do. This 13 percent amounts to around 728,000 people,” Denni said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

She added that 76 percent of the recipients chose an e-wallet as their preferred means of receiving the incentive. Recent data also show that in total, there are around 4 million preemployment card recipients who have an e-wallet account.

Recently, the government added e-wallet DANA as one of its partners in disbursing preemployment cash assistance to participants, alongside other platforms such as GoPay, OVO and LinkAja.

“With the addition of DANA, we are giving the [preemployment card] recipients more e-wallet options to use as an incentive channel,” Denni said.

With an economy contracting 5.32 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the second quarter, the government is confronted with job losses nationwide.

Around 3.7 million individuals have lost their jobs so far this year due to the pandemic, according to data from the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), a number that is expected to hit around 10 million by the end of the year.

With a budget of Rp 20 trillion (US$1.3 billion), the preemployment card program is aimed at combining social assistance with upskilling for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including workers and small business owners. It offers monthly assistance of Rp 3.5 million for four months to cover training costs and cash benefits.

Read also: Preemployment card program resumes, prioritizing pandemic-hit workers

The government is currently aiming to cover 5.6 million eligible preemployment recipients by October.

Denni stated that the recipients of the program had been on target, with most being 18-35-year-olds, unemployed or working in the informal sector, and had not received any training prior.

The committee’s recent survey also showed that 11 percent of the 1.2 million preemployment card program incentive recipients found a job after finishing the program, mostly as small and medium entrepreneurs.

Indonesian E-commerce Association (IdEA) chairman Bima Laga said one of the most popular training topics among the government’s e-commerce partner for the program was entrepreneurship.

“The use of e-commerce for the program also boosts financial and digital inclusivity as people have to board online platforms to join,” he said. (eyc)

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