BTPN: A Traditional Bank that became a Digital Indonesian Jenius
In 2020, the Indonesian bank PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk (BTPN) had to make a decision regarding a digital transformation strategy for its future. BTPN had started as a small bank that focused on pensioners, but became known for its innovation after a private equity partner bought a stake in 2008. Initially innovating successfully in microfinance, BTPN decided to go digital by creating an in-house start-up in 2015 called Jenius, thereby leapfrogging to become one of the forerunners in Indonesian digital consumer banking. The COVID-19 pandemic had accelerated digital financial services, and BTPN had to decide how to scale Jenius to transform the company. Was the in-house start-up model the best choice after all, or would the large incumbent banks digitalize faster? Marleen Dieleman is affiliated with National University of Singapore. Ishtiaq P Mahmood is affiliated with National University of Singapore.