Fintech

Q&A: Ovo’s CEO on how to win a payments subsidy war

Forge the right partnerships and cut unit economics to the minimum says CEO Jason Thompson at Lippo- and Grab-backed payments app Ovo.

In Kuningan City, a scruffy mall in central Jakarta, adjacent signs from Ovo's and Gojek’s payments arm Go-Pay each offer shoppers 20% cashback on their purchases.

In the ring also, fighting hard for the attention of Indonesian consumers, is LinkAja, the mobile wallet and payment service launched in March by state-owned enterprises, plus privately owned latecomers including Ant Financial-backed startup Dana.

Rival payments applications are mushrooming across Indonesia and are engaged in a brutal subsidy war to attract consumers to use their apps.   

From the get-go, Ovo’s strategy was to be an open ecosystem. It partnered...

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