Jakarta – Peer-to-peer lending platform AdaKami questioned media reports and widespread social media posts alleging that one of its customers had committed suicide due to an inability to repay his debt and the extremely high interest rates.
Bernardino Moningka Vega, CEO of Pembiayaan Digital Indonesia, the company that owns AdaKami, expressed concerns over the unverified nature of these allegations. He cited a lack of information and evidence from the individual who initially posted the claim.
"We are considering further steps, including potential legal action, as the post has gone viral, subjecting me and my family to verbal attacks, all while lacking additional information to substantiate the allegation," Bernardino was quoted by Antara news agency as saying on Friday.
"If there is any evidence, please let us know. However, we cannot just sit still when people are making baseless accusations against us."
These statements were made in response to a recent post on X, formerly known as Twitter, alleging that a father had taken his own life due to his inability to repay a Rp 19 million ($1,237) debt to AdaKami. The unverified post also indicated that the individual initially owed just Rp 9.4 million to the lender.
The X account is registered under the name "rakyatavspinjol," which translates to "people vs online lenders."
Bernardino mentioned that the company had attempted to reach the account holder to gather more information about the lender but had been unsuccessful. He expressed the company's willingness to conduct its own investigation if provided with more details.
AdaKami, which has channeled nearly Rp 28 trillion of credit since it was registered with the financial authorities, primarily offers small-amount loans to unbanked customers with a daily interest rate of 0.4 percent.
Online moneylenders, which mainly target low-income customers with limited access to traditional banking services, have faced criticism for their aggressive debt collection practices.
In many cases, borrowers were required to relinquish control of their social media accounts as a condition for receiving loans, and they often faced public humiliation on the internet when they struggled to repay their debts.
In response to such practices, regulatory authorities like the Financial Services Authority (OJK) and Bank Indonesia have recently initiated crackdowns on troubled P2P lenders and have banned the operations of numerous unlicensed lenders.