'Reducing friction' for its consumers is key for Go-Jek


GO-JEK has a simple philosophy when it comes to expanding in South-east Asia, at least according to its president Andre Soelistyo.

Speaking on Wednesday during a fireside chat at the Singapore FinTech Festival, Mr Soelistyo said that the company always starts from the simplest pain points of consumers, then works to "reduce friction" for them.

He pointed out that Go-Jek has announced a few partnerships, including one with DBS Bank on Monday that will see both parties offering regional payment services.

These partnerships go towards addressing the simple things: for instance, one of the pains for drivers is how they get paid, said Mr Soelistyo.

"It's about finding ways to reduce that friction. To make the claims processing an instantaneous experience - that is one of the things that we wanted to work on, then you can start building the base. Because then the engagement is there, and consumers and drivers are happy."

He reiterated that this philosophy of fixing the little things is important since in countries outside their homeground of Indonesia, Go-Jek is starting from ground zero.

The firm has already expanded to Vietnam, in September, and is set to enter Singapore in the coming weeks.

"I think all of you will have a choice soon, so be ready," quipped Mr Soelistyo to applause and some cheers.

Asked about his view on financial services, Mr Soelistyo reiterated that Go-Jek is not just a transport company, but also a firm that creates solutions for consumer needs.

It plots consumers' journeys to find their moments of need so that the company is much more active and present in their lives.

In this sense, financial services isn't just a vertical that is differentiated, said Mr Soelistyo. Rather, it is a way for the company to go back to its mission for consumers.

For instance, many of Go-Jek's customers in Indonesia don't have a bank account, and e-wallets use a prepaid top-up function because direct debit is not well-established. The average Go-Pay customer hence tops up six times a month and the most frequent tops up twice a week.

"We thought about it and created this thing called PayLater, which is basically an overdraft. In some sense like a credit card, because you can use your Go-Pay balance, and you pay at the end of the month," added Mr Soelistyo. "It's not for financial services; it's actually to reduce friction."