“Limitless innovation” is the philosophy that earned DOKU its position as the first electronic payment provider and risk management company in Indonesia. 

Nabilah Alsagoff, Co-Founder & COO of DOKU, established the company with a mission to play a role in the growth of the digital economy in Indonesia. DOKU’s payment ecosystem is supported by three pillars of support products including Doku Wallet, MyShortCart and an integrated payments system for larger, complex transactions. The payment technology company aims to support the strength and growth of businesses of all sizes; partnering with financial service providers including VISA and Mastercard, and offering MyShortCart as a convenience for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to sell online on platforms like Facebook, while Doku Wallet is a simple product to help users easily shop on e-commerce sites. 

Business as Border-less

“When we started the company, our dream was to pave the way towards a cashless society where everyone can have access to digital financial services. As the pioneer of electronic payments in Indonesia, we continue to come up with new innovations to create better and better payment solutions that can help businesses of any size to streamline their payment needs,” Alsagoff shared.

Through nearly 15 years of operation, DOKU has grown to offer a variety of solutions such as payment gateway, domestic fund transfer, and cross-border remittance.

“As businesses are becoming increasingly more border-less, we have also taken advantage of this,” Alsagoff explained. “We also have a number of overseas clients and partners who want to tap into the Indonesian market.”

New Normal & New Opportunities

When COVID hit Indonesia at the end of March 2020, major industries such as travel, transportation and hospitality were devastated. DOKU felt the initial impacts alongside their merchants, as businesses undertook new responsibilities and hardships.

“However with COVID, there was also a lot of silver lining where certain industries like online retail and online games increased significantly due to new customer habits,” the founder commented. 

Eventually, demand to be digital skyrocketed. The number of small businesses in Indonesia that wanted to be online spiked, with many offline businesses shifting to an online presence for survival. Alsagoff explained that “the growth [in digital] is deeply influenced by the ‘new normal’ lifestyle implemented by the government which also impacts the way people conduct their business.”

“Overall, even though COVID posed many short-term challenges, we believe that it also presents new opportunities that DOKU can tap into.”

Internal Digital Adoptions

Even as a company that has been digital since day one, DOKU was forced to accelerate its in-house digital evolution. With a work-from-home policy came adopting a new way of business. From simple tasks such as capturing signatures for legal documents to more complex collaborations such as those in the developer teams, DOKU has a newfound reliance on digital tools to continue working as usual remotely. 

“The way we communicate with external stakeholders such as clients, partners, media and the community has also changed significantly during the pandemic – we have to rely on video conferencing channels and social media to maintain our brand awareness and sales efforts much more than ever before,” said Alsagoff. She added that “being a tech company, this transaction has probably been easier for us compared to more traditional companies.”

How to Invite Global Investments

For Alsagoff, a challenge is balancing the limitations of the regulatory environment with the limitlessness of DOKU’s technology. The difficulty lies in determining how to deploy business opportunities from global markets to enter the Indonesian market. 

“Technology is border-less and thus technically we can support our global merchant’s objective. However, sometimes we need to wisely implement it since we are aware there are different levels of consumer awareness and also [there are] barriers in terms of the policy imposed by the governments related to Fintech and e-commerce practices,” she shared.

“Indonesia has a very unique payment landscape and the infrastructure is also very different from other countries – this poses both an opportunity and also a challenge.”

Thanks to strong relations with national and international payment partners, DOKU has been able to support the growth of merchants of all sizes and expand their markets globally.