The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms & Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Fintech is a game for Indonesia’s Dana

Digital-lock-Getty-960.jpg
Photo: Getty

To traditional bankers, Jakarta’s gaming salons might seem unlikely places to launch a hot fintech startup. But for veteran gamer Vincent Iswaratioso, battling virtual bad guys in World of Warcraft has proved the perfect training ground for his universal Dana e-wallet.

The people behind fintech powerhouses – think Japan’s Rakuten Group, Europe’s Revolut and Australia’s Afterpay – typically start off in finance before they become disruptors of the established order.

Hiroshi Mikitani, the founder of e-commerce firm Rakuten, worked for Industrial Bank of Japan before it became Mizuho. Nik Storonsky, who set up fintech firm Revolut, was a derivatives trader at Lehman Brothers before it imploded in 2008. Anthony Eisen, co-founder of payments platform Afterpay, had been a career investment banker. All three had their roots in traditional financial services before they disrupted, or evolved.

And then there’s Indonesian fintech startup Dana, an app-based banking and payments platform with more than 80 million registered users and a backstory that has nothing to do with banking.

Dana has a distinctly millennial heritage as it evolved out of the peculiarly teenage world of online gaming. This unorthodox origin for a modern-day e-wallet-cum-neobank would make perfect sense to anyone who spent time in chaotic Jakarta during the 2000s. Back then, gaming was one of the great paradoxes of life in the Indonesian capital. Around the city, teenagers flocked to pop-up internet salons to spend their pocket money battling online with virtual combatants around the world, their virtual warfare enabled by decent broadband speed.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

Tags

Eric Ellis
Eric Ellis has covered Asia for Euromoney since 2006. He is a former southeast Asia-correspondent for Fortune Magazine and Time, and an ex-Asia correspondent for Australia’s economic and business newspaper the Australian Financial Review.
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree