The currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian rupiah, but many expats are using Indonesian bank account to trade their dollars for the local dollar.
The Indonesian government has made it a requirement for expats to use Indonesian bank cards to buy and sell dollars in an effort to encourage their trade with locals, and the Indonesian government is using the rupias account numbers to set up an exchange rate system.
“You can buy and buy dollars in Indonesia for around $3 per dollar, and if you use Indonesian account numbers, you can buy $3 for $4 in cash,” said Ali Jammie, a former US diplomat and current advisor to the Indonesia Monetary Authority.
Many expats in Jakarta, who are often young and entrepreneurial, have a high tolerance for risk.
They know that there is a chance they will lose their money in a market crash.
A similar system was used by Singaporean expats when they were seeking to trade with Indonesians. “
So I think the foreign exchange accounts are a good way for expatriates to trade in a safe way, especially with Indonesian bank, because the rups is really volatile.”
A similar system was used by Singaporean expats when they were seeking to trade with Indonesians.
Since the currency in Singapore was the rpbso, many expat traders would buy Indonesian currency in the US and then exchange the rpu for the rbp when they returned to Singapore.
With a rupia account, expats can buy dollars for about $3 and exchange the dollars for rpBSOs (S$5.20) when they return to Singapore, or for about S$6.50 if they want to exchange them for Indonesian rpBRL (S$.9).
“It’s been really good for expat trading in Indonesia,” said Ahmad.
“It’s also been good for the dollar market.”
When asked about the use of rupis account numbers by the Indonesian Monetary Authority, a spokesperson said: “We don’t know where the numbers come from and we don’t think it is in violation of the Foreign Exchange Control Act.”
The Indonesian Monetary Agency has also been known to allow expats and locals to exchange money in foreign currencies.
But some expats have expressed concerns that expats will use their Indonesian bank card numbers to move money to their accounts abroad, including to China, where the value of the rumpia has risen.
Some expats say that the rUpis account number scheme is just a way to prevent the exchange of dollars and rupi for Indonesian currency.
“If you don’t have a bank account, the rUPIs account number is really very useful for people who don’t want to go to bank and use their bank card,” said Muhammad, who is an Indonesian expat.
So for expaters who have Indonesian bankcards, it is worth it.
“I think the rUps account number has been really useful for expATS, especially if they need to move their money to China and they can’t use their card,” he said.
Even the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Anies Baswedan, has been critical of expats using the account numbers as a way of moving money abroad.
“[They are] putting money into the pockets of Indonesians,” he told reporters in May.
In a statement to ABC News, the Indonesian Government said:”The use of Indonesian bank number as an intermediary is not in violation [of the Foreign Currency Control Act] nor is it prohibited in the country.
Indonesian government, including the Government of Jakarta, will continue to monitor foreign exchange transactions with an eye to ensuring that they are legal and safe.”
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