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Banking in Indonesia: A Startup's Guide to Doing It Right

13 November, 2017

Along with the Indonesian economy's development, the demand for company bank accounts has grown rapidly. However, this trend does not concern the majority of the country's population. Indonesia is still primarily a cash-based economy where most of its citizens have not entered the banking system yet and less than 5 percent own credit card.

Consequently, the banking system is a challenging environment for all businesses. On one hand, it drives start-ups to explore creative ways to cope with the nation that is unbanked and even underbanked. On the other, it drives start-ups mad while trying to start a bank account. However, new regulatory changes by the Ministry of Finance have eased the process and starting a bank account can be done in few days (and sometimes will take only a day).

Types of Accounts

In Indonesia, the most commonly used bank accounts are checking, savings, and deposit accounts.

A checking account enables its owner to make a payment using a check or giro (demand deposit) as well as delay payment by check retroactively.

A savings account is used as a tool for transfers, debits, as well as for amassing assets. Its owners can also benefit from ATM access.

A deposit account requires higher deposits than saving accounts, and deposits can be withdrawn in accordance with the bank.

Even though companies can choose what kind of account suits their needs the best, it is advisable to use a checking account as tracking financial operations will be easier; thanks to regular statements.

Opening a Bank Account As a PT PMA

Companies with a foreign shareholder are required to open a bank account. Even though the company is free to choose a banking institution, this institution is obliged to be licensed to provide foreign currencies. The process of opening a corporate bank account slightly differs from bank to bank, but the following list contains documents that are generally required by a majority of bank institutions in Indonesia.

  1. Approval of company name at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights
  2. Preparation of Article of Association by Notary
  3. Approval of Deed of Establishment at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Pengesahan KEPMENHUMHAM)
  4. Certificate of Domicile from local district office
  5. Taxpayer registration number (NPWP)
  6. Trading Business Licence
  7. Company Registration Certificate (TDP)

Opening an Account Before Starting Your business

To save time, it is possible to apply for a bank account even before starting your company. In this case, it is required to present your Article of Association and Deed of Establishment. Other documents can be presented later if you are engaging Cekindo to assist your company on opening a bank account. However, if you are opening a corporate bank account on your own, you might as well have to obtain all the company documents as mentioned above.

Opening an Account Through an Intermediary

In case you are not present in Indonesia or you are hesitant to do the all the legwork on the process, you can also apply through an intermediary such as Cekindo. Our company is here to assist you so you can open your account without too much hassle on your part. Please feel free to contact us in any case of an inquiry.

Major Financial Institutions

Even though more than hundreds of bank institutions can be found in Indonesia, two major players, which act as a duopoly, can be found on the Indonesian market. Bank Mandiri and Bank Central Asia (BCA) are the only two institutions which have made online payments possible since 2012.


Mandiri bank was established 20 years ago after the Asian Financial Crisis, during which many bank institutions required state bailouts. Consequently, the Indonesian government fused four failed banks together, and Mandiri bank was born.


BCA is Indonesia's third-largest bank by assets and the biggest by market value. It is privately owned even though it came under public control after the Asian Financial Crisis, but it made a fast recovery.

About the Author


Cekindo is market-entry consulting firm operating across Indonesia (Jakarta, Bali, Semarang). We provide one-stop solutions assisting foreign entities and entrepreneurs from various industries to successfully expand their market to Indonesia and beyond. Our main goal is to help you to focus on your business while we handle huge scope of HR, financial and legal services. Cekindo will assist you in setting up your business in Indonesia, supporting your daily operations and administrations, and representing your company in Indonesia.

PT. Cekindo Bisnis Grup, Business Park Kebon Jeruk, Blok H1-2
Jl. Raya Meruya Ilir No.88
Jakarta Barat 11620, Indonesia
Phone: +622180660999, Fax: +622180660901, Email: info@cekindo.com, Website: www.cekindo.com


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