Evi saw the ad on Facebook. Quick, instant loans without collateral. No fuss, all online. “It got me curious, and so I clicked,” the 40-year-old homemaker said. She applied for an IDR 1 million (US$70) loan to help a friend, she claimed. The money was transferred to her account, but not in full—only IDR 700,000—as the remaining 30% went to the platform as fees. It was due in seven days.

With interest, she owed IDR 1.2 million (US$83) to the platform. But because she didn’t have the money, she applied for new loans from two other platforms. “We were digging holes to cover another hole,” she said.


Yunindita Prasidya

Based in Bali, Dita writes about Indonesia’s growing digital economy, including how technology is shaping the lives of young Indonesians and impacting traditional industries. She was previously a reporter at The Jakarta Post.

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