Indonesian fintechs plug payday gaps, help workers stay away from loan sharks

Cash advance or “earned wage access” programs, already popular employee benefits in the US and Europe, are attracting investors and diverse clients in Indonesia

Companies offer a variety of benefits to their employees to keep them happy and loyal. These include standard employment conditions like paid annual and maternity leave. Some companies go further with allowances for recreational activities or personal education. Now, a new type of employee benefit is becoming popular in Indonesia – loans and cash advances for financial emergencies – and is attracting the interest of fintech startups and investors.

Platforms like KoinWorks (P2P lending) and Payuung (employee benefits) are already offering products to help employees of client companies meet emergency expenses. They help employers by providing the cash upfront, then receive repayments from the employees’ salaries.

More recently, startups like GajiGesa and Venteny have entered the scene to help SMEs and other labor-intensive companies to provide loans and cash advances to their workers, many of whom are underbanked and do not have enough savings for financial emergencies and often turn to borrowing from high-interest lenders like loan sharks.

Such employee benefits and financial assistance services have also attracted

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