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Banking & Finance

Indonesia's Bank Mandiri seeks big data 'revolution'

Bank Mandiri says it is investing in Big Data technology to revolutinize its loan business.

JAKARTA -- Indonesia's Bank Mandiri is joining the growing number of Southeast Asian banks tapping into big data, with its president saying the technology will "revolutionize" the customer experience and the way it channels its loans.

    Kartika Wirjoatmodjo on Wednesday said it is allocating $10 million this year alone for investment in big data technology, though the president did not say where Mandiri will procure the technology.

     Lenders in Southeast Asia are increasingly pouring money into big data. Malaysia's Hong Leong Bank has announced a partnership with IBM to use the U.S. tech company's cognitive computing technology, Watson, to analyze customer data and offer more customized product options.

     Mandiri, currently in the process of purchasing the technology, expects it to be put to use in two to three years. Wirjoatmodjo said big data will help the bank collect and analyze customer data -- such as their spending preferences and habits, as well as the way they conduct their daily transactions.

     Such information could, for example, help determine the creditworthiness of a customer or the type of lending products they may be interested in.

     "Decisions on creditworthiness will be based on behavioral data, spending habits, and no longer from static data like monthly salaries," Wirjoatmodjo said. "Big data will revolutionize the business -- including how the loans will be channeled, and how the risks will be managed."

     He said Mandiri wants to explore more business opportunities in its existing partnerships with emerging e-commerce players in Indonesia, such as Lazada, Zalora and Tokopedia -- as well as with transportation app Go-Jek.

     Currently, the bank provides only a payment option for customers of these companies.

     Wirjoatmodjo said that as the country's e-commerce industry grows, he hopes those companies can help the bank gather data on customers' spending habits. In exchange, he said, Mandiri could help them market their products and services to the bank's 20 million customers.

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