A newspaper vendor uses her smartphone while tending her stall in Jakarta on November 14, 2017. ( AFP / Bay Ismoyo)

Popular Indonesian e-wallet OVO has not lost permit to operate

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Multiple social media posts have shared a claim that Indonesia's financial services regulator has revoked the operating permit of the country's popular e-wallet OVO. However, the claim is false: the digital payment firm says that it continues to operate as usual and has pointed out that an unrelated finance firm with a similar name is in fact the company that has lost its permit. 

The claim appeared on this Indonesian-language Facebook post uploaded on November 10, 2021.

It features a screenshot of a decree from Indonesia's Financial Services Authority (OJK) revoking the operating permit of  "PT OVO Finance Indonesia".

Translated to English, the post's caption reads: "Better finish or transfer your remaining OVO balance!
*OJK Revokes OVO's Business Permit".

Screenshot of the second misleading post, taken on November 21, 2021

OJK has "regulatory and supervisory duties over financial services activities in banking, capital markets, and non-bank financial industries sectors" in Indonesia, according to its website

Surveys found that Indonesian-based OVO was the most-used digital wallet in the country, as reported by local newspapers Bisnis Indonesia here and the Jakarta Post here.

The claim that it had revoked e-wallet company OVO's permit also circulated in other Facebook posts, including here, here and hereand on Twitter here and here.

The claim, however, is false. 

The screenshot of the document in the misleading post matches this one on OJK's website.

Below is a screenshot comparison between the image in the misleading post (L) and the original document on OJK's website (R):

Screenshot comparison between the image in the misleading post (L) and the original document on OJK's website (R)

The decree, dated October 28, 2021, states that OJK revoked the permit for PT OVO Finance Indonesia on October 19, 2021.  

However, e-wallet firm OVO posted a clarification on Twitter on November 10, 2021, stating that it has "no connection at all" with PT OVO Finance Indonesia, referring to it by the acronym "OFI".

“OFI (OVO Finance Indonesia) has no connection at all with OVO. All OVO operations and services are continuing as usual, as normal and have no problem at all," reads the statement.

In the tweet, the e-wallet company also explained that its full legal name is actually PT Visionet Internasional.

OVO's clarification was also reported here by Indonesia's state-controlled news agency Antara on November 10, 2021.