Payment: What It Means, and Payment Methods to Use in Indonesia

Written by
Ekky Pramana
Last Modified on
March 7, 2024

The term "payment" is no doubt a familiar term to you. However, do you truly know everything that payment entails? In short, payment refers to the act of making a payment, and can also be interpreted as a payment system used to carry out buying and selling transactions. The payment system is a crucial element in financial transactions, wherever you may be. What is fascinating to delve into is how through the changing eras and technological advancements, there have been changes in the payment systems that we use for transactions daily.

The significance of the payment system in today's business ecosystem surely cannot be ignored. With the ongoing technological advancements and digital transformations, the way society makes payments has undergone significant changes. From being able to transact only with cash payments, we now can make digital and e-wallet payments. The payment system has become the backbone of business operations and customer experiences. Nowadays, we often do not even need to carry a physical wallet when traveling because transactions can be conducted through the payment systems available on our smartphones.

In this article, you will find an in-depth discussion of the role of payment systems in the current business dynamics. You'll explore how, as a business owner, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of innovations in payment systems that have a significant impact on your business and various industry sectors as a whole.

What is Payment? 

The definition, and the role that payment plays in our daily lives

The payment system is an infrastructure that regulates and facilitates the transfer of value between individuals, businesses, or financial entities. This encompasses a series of procedures, rules, and technologies designed to facilitate and organize financial transactions efficiently. From daily purchases at stores to cross-border transactions on a global scale, the payment system serves as the backbone supporting complex economic activities. It not only facilitates the physical exchange of goods and services but also enables the transfer of value in digital form, thereby expediting and simplifying financial processes.

Speaking of digital transformation, the payment system has undergone a significant evolution. The shift from cash transactions to digital and non-cash payment methods marks a paradigm shift in how we conduct transactions in society. You may have already realized that modern payment systems not only facilitate transaction processes but also create a continually evolving financial ecosystem, combining technological innovation and ever-evolving consumer needs.

The importance of the payment system lies not only in its ability to streamline transactions but also in its role as a driver of economic growth and financial inclusion. With the ongoing advancement of technology, the payment system has become a dynamic landscape, introducing various new payment methods, enhanced security measures, and integration into the digital lifestyle. Payment innovations have not only transformed the way we shop and conduct business but also provided new opportunities to access financial services and foster broader economic development.

Evolution in payment systems

Perhaps you still remember the payment system of the past, where we could only pay with cash. ATMs everywhere were always crowded because everyone had to use cash for transactions. Nowadays, in this modern era, there is a digital payment system that greatly facilitates transactions. Even paying for public parking can now be done using digital payment, right?

The evolution of the payment system has become something intriguing with the development of the economy and technology. From the era of cash transactions, which may have been time-consuming and inefficient, we have transitioned to the world of digital payments that offer unparalleled convenience and save a lot of our time. Initially,  credit cards were a breakthrough that simplified payments without the need to carry cash. However, further advancements in technology and internet connectivity have brought us into the era of digital and mobile payments, where digital wallets and payment applications have become crucial in our daily lives. This evolution not only involves the transformation from physical to digital payment methods but also includes the introduction of new technologies such as blockchain, supporting cryptocurrencies, and opening doors to possibilities of more decentralized payments.

Further exploration of the evolution of the payment system also reflects changes in consumer needs and expectations. Security and speed take precedence, driving innovations such as contactless payments, digital payment cards, and biometric verification. One massive shift that was brought along by the changing times and a need to adapt to the circumstances was the pandemic that occurred in 2020, which urged payment system providers to provide cashless and touchless payment systems that are safe and convenient to use. Since then, payment systems like QR codes have become increasingly popular, as merchants do not even need to touch customers' debit or credit cards to minimize the spread of the virus. Moreover, in the face of globalization and rapid economic development, international payment systems are becoming more integrated, enabling cross-border transactions more easily and efficiently.

Payment systems you can use in Indonesia 

At this point, there are an incredible amount of payment systems that can be used by all of society in Indonesia. Let’s dive deep into the major payment methods that are available in Indonesia! 

Cash Payment 

The most basic payment method that has been used since ancient times until today is cash payment. Cash payments also fall into the category of conventional payments, as this payment system involves the direct use of physical payment instruments.

Until now, cash payments can only be done face-to-face, where all parties involved in the transaction must meet directly to exchange the cash. Although cash payments can be used for any amount, this method has some drawbacks; such as the inefficiency of time and energy involved. Not to mention the security risks associated with carrying cash, especially when the amount involved is significant. Therefore, in transactions involving substantial amounts, many people nowadays tend to switch to cashless payment methods.

Bank Transfer

Bank transfer has been a common method of payment for quite some time. Doing a bank transfer Involves the transfer of funds from one bank account to another. Bank transfers are very easy to perform by anyone with a bank account. In this process, payments can be made between individuals, businesses, or financial entities. Bank transfers provide flexibility as they are not limited by location, allowing transactions to take place quickly and securely, whether at close or long distances.

The bank transfer process can be conducted through various platforms, including internet banking and mobile banking services. Users can initiate transfers, identify recipients and transfer amounts, and send funds with ease. Transaction security is a primary focus, with various protective measures, including the use of security codes, two-factor authentication, and data encryption, to ensure that financial information remains secure during the transfer process.

Credit Card

Introduced in Indonesia in the 1980s, credit cards emerged as an alternative payment method to cash. As a financial instrument, credit cards play a crucial role in facilitating payment transactions in the modern era. A credit card enables its holder to make purchases of goods or services without the need to carry physical cash. The process of using a credit card involves verification by the merchant through payment terminals or entering card details when making online purchases.

The advantage of using a credit card is that, besides being a payment tool, credit cards often provide various incentives to their holders, such as rewards, cashback, or special membership programs. With all its benefits and protective policies, credit cards have become one of the most sophisticated and reliable payment methods in the financial ecosystem, which can still be considered to be the more conventional method of payment nowadays.

Debit Card

Debit cards are a commonly used payment method in everyday life. Linked directly to the owner's bank account, a debit card allows instant access to the user's funds, and transactions or cash withdrawals can easily be made through ATMs or payment terminals. In addition to being user-friendly, debit cards also play a crucial role in reducing dependence on cash, providing convenience and security in transactions.


Payment through an e-wallet is an online payment tool that functions similarly to a physical wallet. Typically, e-wallets are in the form of mobile applications that enable users to store funds or balances within the digital wallet. Unlike traditional bank accounts, the balances in e-wallets are not associated with any interest. However, some transactions conducted through e-wallets may incur low administrative fees.

In Indonesia, various e-wallet applications have become popular, such as DANA, GoPay, ShopeePay, and others. E-wallet users are typically identified by a virtual number or virtual account, allowing them to carry out transactions seamlessly. This digital payment method has gained widespread acceptance due to its convenience, ease of use, and ability to streamline financial transactions.


Regardless of the debate surrounding its pronunciation, QRIS (Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard) is a payment method that is gaining popularity in Indonesia. This payment system utilizes QR codes as a medium for conducting financial transactions effortlessly. Users only need to scan the QR code provided by the seller or merchant using a payment application or digital banking on their mobile phones. QRIS enables quick and convenient payments without the need for cash or physical cards. One of the advantages of QRIS is its ability to support various types of transactions, including interbank transfers, product purchases, bill payments, and more. Additionally, QRIS is considered a secure solution as transaction data is well-encrypted. As a seller, you can also benefit from the presence of QRIS, as it greatly facilitates the payment process for your customers.

Tips for maintaining security during payments

The convenience offered by various payment methods sometimes leads us to overlook and neglect the security of our data. Ensuring security, especially when making online payments, is a crucial step in protecting your personal and financial information. First, always ensure you use a secure internet connection, especially when making transactions in public places. Use a reliable Wi-Fi network or consider using a VPN to enhance data encryption. Always check the security of the website where you make payments by ensuring the address starts with "https://" and has a padlock icon in the address bar.

Next, activate the two-factor authentication (2FA) feature to add an extra layer of protection. This requires additional verification beyond the password, such as a code sent to your phone. Also, avoid clicking links from suspicious emails or messages, and always access payment sites directly through the browser instead of using those links. By implementing these security measures, you can reduce the risk of fraud and ensure that every payment transaction takes place securely.

Aspire as a comprehensive payment solution provider for businesses

As a business owner aiming to provide the best for your loyal customers, choosing a vendor that facilitates the payment process in your business is also crucial. In this rapidly evolving business era, Aspire emerges as a comprehensive payment solution to meet your business needs. As the leading payment gateway service provider in Indonesia, Aspire offers more than 26 payment options for your business customers, including bank transfers, credit and debit cards, e-wallets, QRIS, and retail payments through Indomaret and Alfamart. The advantages of Aspire are not only in easy integration and efficient use but also in automatic payment verification features, ensuring a faster and easier payment process.

Moreover, you can conduct local and international transfers, including easy-to-use mass transfers. Aspire also provides responsive 24/7 support services, ready to assist you with any challenges or questions regarding the use of the payment system. With simple transaction fees and no subscription charges, Aspire offers high flexibility and security in every business transaction. By choosing Aspire as your payment partner in business, you can enjoy various conveniences and high-security standards in running your business online. To find out more about running a business and everything related to financial management in business, check out the Aspire blog!

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About the author
Ekky Pramana
is a seasoned writer specialising in business finance and management. With a writing history at Tech in Asia, Teknoverso, and various other publishers, he leverages his market expertise to empower and educate first-time founders in managing their businesses better.
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