Facebook Teams Up With Mandiri, Indonesia’s Largest Bank, to Offer Debit Payments for Ads


Facebook has partnered up with Mandiri, Indonesia’s largest bank to introduce a new payment option for ads, to increase efforts to turn itself into a commerce platform relevant to emerging markets, reports Tech in Asia.

Ads can now be paid using debit cards. Prior to this, the only accepted payment methods for ads on Facebook were credit cards or bank transfers.

Enabling debit card payments gives more people access to an instant online payment method.

It’s a move aimed to help Facebook reap profits in emerging markets like Indonesia. The social network counts 88 million active users in the country

Only 16% of Facebook’s ad revenues, its most important source of income are from Asia-Pacific, shows Facebook’s most recent earnings report. It pulled in a record high $1 billion in revenue in Asia.

NBC reported that Facebook will let emerging market companies sell through their pages. This is a part of the company’s efforts to build up potential advertisers in fast-growing regions.

The move is Facebook’s first foray onto online commerce in emerging markets. The company launched a service last year allowing some merchants to sell items through paid ads on Facebook’s app. The latest service will instead be free, and purchases can be made through merchants’ own Facebook pages.

By making sellers more reliant on Facebook, the company hopes that more businesses in emerging markets will eventually decide to become paying advertisers.

There are more than 60 million businesses worldwide using its service that can set up pages for free in an attempt to reach more customers out of Facebook’s 1.7 billion global monthly users. Eventually, Facebook hopes that firms of all sizes will become paid users of Facebook advertising. It is boosting this through fixing the infrastructure of emerging markets.

Facebook has launched ‘Free Basics’, a free, pared-down version of the internet in more than 30 countries without reliable internet connections. It is reportedly also working to test drones that will provide communities without internet, access to wifi. These initiatives are integral to Facebook’s global strategy of seeking to reach a large group of potential users in emerging markets.

Versions of this appeared in Tech in Asia and NBC on August 4 and 3. Read the full versions here and here.