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全新的互联网金融模式国际资讯

学生贷款铸就印尼金融科技发展新机遇

全新的互联网金融模式国际资讯

学生贷款铸就印尼金融科技发展新机遇

金融科技借贷企业Dana Cita提供平价学生贷款,以期使所有印尼人均可享受高等教育。该企业是从Y Combinator毕业的第三家印尼企业。

我们与Dana Cita的联合创始人Susli Lie进行了对话。Susli Lie曾负责世界银行及亚洲开发银行新兴市场学生金融状况研究,于数年前返回印度尼西亚,迫切希望解决这一难题。

印尼总统呼吁发展学生金融

印尼在高等教育招生方面显著低于邻国,其入学率约为28%,而菲律宾与泰国同一比率分别约为36%与49%。此外,其四年制教育总学费约为目前人均GDP的1.4倍,高于邻国。

因此印尼总统佐科·维多多呼吁银行与金融界解决学生贷款紧缺问题。Lie认为,考虑到年轻人群不断增长的购买力且人力重心由劳力转向技术工人上,这或将成为印尼重大发展机遇。Lie认为总统重视学生金融的原因在于高等教育虽需耗费一定财力,但却具备改善个人生活的巨大力量。

学生贷款产品紧缺

Lie说道,学生贷款产品紧缺并不仅局限于印尼。发达市场认为其公民有权享受高等教育,是政府的职责。而发展中国家的境况则有所不同。

Lie表示,即便是在基础与中级教育入学率上,印尼也仍处于赶超阶段。"你可以看到我国投入了20%的预算专门用于解决基础与中级教育问题,所以你或许认为政府或应先解决这一问题再处理高等教育问题。"

因此对银行而言,较之摩托车、汽车、住房等消费贷款,学生贷款市场仍然较小。此外,学生基本没有金融记录,这使得学生成为高风险贷款人群(且学生一般无担保且贷款时间长)。银行很难集中精力与此市场。

金融科技解决方案

总的来说,金融科技借贷机构利用技术编制与获取数据,降低了企业与借款方的成本。Lie表示,利用技术获取数据处理学生贷款比之传统实体模式更为合理。她解释道:"考虑到我们的用户群,他们是18-24岁的年轻群体,非常精通技术,在线十分活跃,且便于触达。"

Lie称,金融科技企业还可与银行合作,推出专项产品。"我认为金融科技企业发展为细分市场参与者才能发挥最大优势。"Lie分享道Dana Cita与许多借款者关系密切,使其得以了解客户与该细分市场的特点。

此外,金融科技创企可承受各类风险且乐于创新,因此更为灵活。

政府的作用

Lie表示,大规模解决一项富有意义的社会问题通常需要政府在政策上或资源上的参与。而在高等教育方面,政府通常充当了首要资源的出借方,一般免去学费或进行高额补贴。

在加拿大、澳大利亚、新西兰与美国等英系国家,政府与私营领域合作保障提供可负担的高等教育。该模式得以成型的原因在于税收的消费力。而发展中国家则无法进行同等的配置。

Lie认为政府可帮助金融科技企业与银行获取(尚未纳入主流金融体系)人群数据,用以验证身份,核查信用记录。政府还可直接投资高质职业教育机构,或为私营企业进行此类服务提供便利。

Lie称赞了印尼金融服务当局允许金融科技企业进行创新并试水市场的举动。若政府继续允许金融科技企业深入了解客户,那么这些企业在提供解决方案方面或可表现更佳。

未来五年前景

Lie认为学生贷款与高质高等教育的需求将有增无减。劳动力市场需求与消费者购买力也将对此产生影响。Lie深信随着市场的增长,其他玩家也将入局学生贷款领域。如此依赖,消费者就拥有了选择权,那么出借方良性竞争保障高质高等教育至关重要。

世界银行一项研究显示,若个体来自低收入家庭,那么其享受高等教育的几率最高只有5%。若出生于财富排名前20%的人群,那么接受高等教育的几率为50%-60%。两者虽不是完全相关,但收入施加了某种影响。Lie说道:"如果我们去处财力因素,那么学校的竞争力就不基于可负担度,而切实落在其可提供的课程上。"

Lie还担心各参与者初心在于推进学生贷款,但最终可能会引发市场扭曲,导致竞争乏力,甚至产生大笔学生贷款坏账。20世纪80年代,印尼曾推出政府支持的学生贷款项目Kredit Mahasiswa Indonesia,违约率很高。

而Lie却认为,信用这种理念本身并无所谓好坏。其只是一种调节指出的机制,这也是学生贷款的本质。Lie说道:"我认为难念并不在于学生贷款的好坏,而在于,我们如何保证政府一旦出台政策,所有的激励均是连贯的?随着更多参与者入局,又如何确保我们创制的产品最终是有益社会的?"

Dana Cita is a fintech lender providing affordable student loans, with a vision to make higher education attainable for all Indonesians. It was the third Indonesian company to graduate from Y Combinator.

For this episode, we sat down with Dana Cita co-founder Susli Lie who led research for World Bank and Asian Development Bank on student financing in emerging markets. She returned to Indonesia a few years ago, eager to tackle this elusive problem.

Presidential call for student financing

Indonesia clearly lags behind its neighboring countries in terms of tertiary enrollment, with approximately 28 percent enrollment rate. The Philippines and Thailand are at around 36 percent and 49 percent, respectively. Moreover, the total cost for tuition for a four-year degree is approximately 1.4x the current GDP per capita, which is high relative to the neighboring countries.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo is then calling on the banking and financial sector to address the scarcity of student loans in the country. Lie believes that this will become a major opportunity for the nation, considering the growing purchasing power of the young population and the shifting focus from labor to skilled workers. Despite the costs attributed to it, tertiary education has immense power to change a person’s livelihood, which is why Lie thinks the president is putting emphasis on it.

Scarcity of student loan products

Lie says that the lack of student loans is not unique to Indonesia. Developed markets feel that tertiary education is something they are entitled to and that the government should be providing. But it’s different in developing markets.

According to Lie, if we look at the enrollment rates in basic and secondary levels, Indonesia is still playing catch-up. “What you’re seeing in our country is that 20 percent of our national budget is dedicated precisely to solve that problem. So, you could argue that the government should probably be fixing that problem first before tackling tertiary education.”

So for banks, the student loan market is still quite small compared to other types of consumer loans such as motorbikes, cars, and houses. In addition, the financial history of students is fundamentally lacking, which makes student loans riskier (not to mention that they are also typically unsecured and long-term). It would be difficult for banks to focus on this market.

The fintech approach

In general, fintech lenders use technology to compile and gain access to data, and lower costs for both the business and the borrowers. But in the case of student loans, Lie says that acquisition using tech makes a lot of sense as opposed to the traditional brick and mortar model. “If you think about our user base, these are young people [aged between] 18 and 24 […] who are incredibly tech-savvy, have a strong online presence, and are easily reachable,” she explains.

Lie says that fintech companies can also partner with banks when it comes to providing specialized products. “I think fintech companies operate best when they’re a niche player.” She shares that Dana Cita work closely with a community of borrowers, which enables them to understand their consumers and the nuances of the niche.

Moreover, fintech startups are more agile because they can take different types of risks and are open to innovation.

The government’s role

Lie says trying to solve a meaningful social problem at scale almost always requires the government’s involvement—whether as a policy maker or a provider of resources. When it comes to higher education, the government often acts as a lender of first resource, which is often virtually free or highly subsidized.

In Anglo-Saxon countries such as Canada, Australia/New Zealand, and the US, the governments there partner with the private sector to guarantee affordable tertiary education. How can they do this? They simply have the spending power from the taxes. Developing nations, on the other hand, couldn’t allocate as much.

Lie believes that the government could help fintech companies and banks to access people’s data (who are outside of the mainstream financial system today) to verify identities and check prior credit performance. The government could also directly invest in high-quality, job-ready education institutions, or make it easier for the private sector to come in and do that.

Lie applauds OJK (Indonesia’s financial services authority) for allowing fintech companies to innovate and test the market. If the government continues to allow fintech companies to understand their customers better, these firms would become better at providing solutions.

Next five years

Lie believes that the demand for student loans and high-quality higher education will only increase. The labor market demand and the spending power of consumers will influence this as well. She has no doubt that as the market grows, other players are going to start coming into the space. This way, consumers will have options, and it is important that lenders compete in a healthy way to allow for a better-quality higher education.

The challenge is, how do we make sure that as the government sets policies, all the incentives are aligned? And that as more players come into the space, how do we make sure we’re creating something that’s ultimately beneficial to the society?

A World Bank study showed that if you come from the lowest income quintile, you have a 5 percent chance at best to access higher education. And if you come from the top 20 percent of the population, you have a 50 percent to 60 percent chance of accessing it. It is not a perfect correlation, but there’s some sort of an income factor there. “If we can take [that] away, suddenly schools will have to compete not on the basis of who can afford this, but really on what they’re offering,” says Lie.

She is also wary that in their good intent to push for student loans, players in the space might inevitably introduce market distortions that may result in lower competitiveness, or, even worse, a broad perception that student loans are bad. During the 1980s, Indonesia had something called Kredit Mahasiswa Indonesia, which is a government-backed initiative for student loans that experienced a very high default in the end.

But according to Lie, credit as a concept in and of itself isn’t necessarily good or bad. It’s a mechanism to smooth out expenditure, and that’s what a student loan ultimately is. “But I think the challenge is not whether student loans are bad or good,” says Lie. “The challenge is, how do we make sure that as the government sets policies, all the incentives are aligned? And that as [more players] come into the space, how do we make sure we’re creating something that’s ultimately beneficial to the society?”


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