Fintech, or financial technology has remarkably changed the way Indonesians make payments. It’s adoption is so fast that if you go to a traditional mom-and-pop sundry shop in, say PIK’s Freshmarket, the shopkeeper is likely to encourage you to pay using your mobile payments app.

And that’s just a small sector of Indonesian society. There is still the rest of the 260 million population to conquer. The fintech market is bristling with opportunity and growth prospects and early movers GoPay and OVO have established themselves as the main players.

LinkAja, a fintech app initiated by Indonesian state banks and other state-owned enterprises entered the market only less than half a year ago but can potentially heat up this already competitive space.

All three must build their brands if they want to come out as the eventual winner in this high-stakes game. One of the ways companies build their brands is through the use of earned, shared and owned media.

Earned media is what news organizations write about you is particularly valuable as it is seen as most credible because it is virtually an endorsement from an established third-party. Owned media is what a brand owns, such as their own Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts and are the conduits where companies could upload their content. Shared media is when others repost or mention your brand because of its appearance in earned media or in your owned media. Shared media is also a good indication of how engaging your messages are. Content that connects and is relevant is shared more than others.

In this communications mix earned media is particularly valuable as it helps give reasons for people to believe in or trust the brand, building up their social capital. When a brand has high social capital, consumers are more open to accepting and receiving their marketing messages – which are essentially reasons to buy.

How did these Big 3 in fintech fare in brand building using earned, shared and owned in the first six months of this year? We monitored the top 10 online news portals, Twitter and Facebook mentions of these brands and here’s what we found out:

Among them, GoPay is the only brand that’s been communicating in a way that helps it build its social capital.

In March, for instance, a couple in Lampung decided to name their newborn baby GoPay. The baby’s father, Anton, said he has been using GoPay to shop for daily needs. By naming his son GoPay, he hoped the child will grow to become a helpful man to others. GoPay immediately phoned the family to offer them a year of Rp500,000 monthly GoPay cashbacks.

It was contrived, but it had great human interest value and four online media covered the story. This Earned Media turned out to have great traction on Shared media. Just one article from Tribunnews.com alone, for instance, garnered 1,868 social interactions. It was the fourth-highest engagement originating from a news report on GoPay in the first half of 2019. Coverage like that helped GoPay secure 267 total articles, compared to OVO (157 articles) and LinkAja (219) during this period

In another instance in June, GoPay launched a new feature that enables people to give money to pengamen (street musicians). The company orchestrated a neat PR campaign, which included a partnership event with Street Music Institute (IMJ).

The move was covered by the online news portals and one article managed to inspire 3,011 interactions on social media, the second-highest engagement attracted by a news article on GoPay.


The number of coverage published by Top 10 Online Media for GoPay, OVO and LinkAja in the first half of 2019.

On the other hand, OVO appeared to be less attentive to the importance of brand building and social capital but more on activation. The result is that most of the news on OVO was on business partnerships, transaction records, new features and promotions.

This was information important to OVO but, apparently, not to their audience as 97% of OVO’s news items attracted less than 500 interactions each. This is far behind GoPay, which recorded ten times higher average interaction.

This run-of-the-mill attempt at communications also resulted in almost half (43%) of the news coverage mentioning OVO also mentioning GoPay. What this mean was that OVO was only part of the story instead of being the story in such coverage.

In contrast, only 28% of Gopay’s coverage was shared with OVO.

The chart displays monthly interactions found for online news shared by the official accounts of Top 10 Online Media on social media platforms.

The newly launched app LinkAja entered the market confidently, while bragging it has a different strategy than its other competitors. Unlike GoPay and OVO, the company said it wouldn’t rely on promotions because of it’s backing by the public sector and the facilities and services at its command, such as transportation, gas station and other outlets.

The company held a grand launch event in Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta but managed to secure 216 articles in the first half of 2019 (compared to 267 articles secured by Gopay.)

Netizens’ responses to the launch was lukewarm at best a news article about the launch attracted only 500 interactions and 97% of the news reports received less than 100 interactions.

It is still early days to see who will emerge the winner in the competitive fintech payments sector but GoPay seems to be stealing a march on its rivals by engaging in a healthy mix of brand building and activation news.

Unless OVO and LinkAja also step up the game their reasons for using their apps would not find such a ready audience if they are not primed with reasons to believe their brand beforehand.


Written by Lucia Hanna Hutapea, Senior Media Analyst.

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