In pursuit of its mission to digitize Pakistan’s financial services landscape, Bank Alfalah has signed two major agreements with Karandaaz Pakistan, a Section 42, non-profit company promoting financial inclusion in Pakistan. The agreements are aimed at promoting access to finance for small businesses through a commercially directed investment platform, to work jointly on multiple strategies to digitize payments and create convenient, transparent and reliable channels of financial transactions, through a suite of financial products and services with a focus on retail supply chain payments.
Under the first agreement, Karandaaz Pakistan will provide technical and financial assistance to Bank Alfalah for the development of a digital strategy that will help the bank offer digital financial services to its customers, particularly the under-banked segments of the market. The second agreement focuses on digitization of supply-chain payments and conversion of cash transactions to wallet account based transactions.
The signing took place at the Bank Alfalah’s office in Lahore and was attended by senior management from both organizations including Mr. Atif Bajwa – President & CEO BAL, Ms. Mehreen Ahmed – Group Head Retail South and New Initiatives BAL, Mr. Amaar Naveed Ikhlas – Head of Branchless Banking BAL, Syed Ammar Haider – Head of Agent Management and Branchless Banking Sales BAL, and Mr. Ali Sarfraz Hussain – CEO of Karandaaz Pakistan.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Atif Bajwa, President & CEO BAL, stated, “We at Bank Alfalah are committed to achieving our long term goal of financial inclusion in Pakistan and also bridge the service-divide between various social and economic groups within the country. Development of a Digital Payment Ecosystem in partnership with our retail customers will act as a catalyst to extend the financial outreach and convenience to last mile retailer in the retail supply chains. We are excited to have Karandaaz Pakistan joining us in this initiative, whereby Karandaaz, which is a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation & DFID sponsored entity, will provide their rich experience and expertise to BAL in creating the Digital Payment Ecosystem in Pakistan.”
Also sharing his thoughts, Mr. Ali Sarfraz Hussain, CEO of Karandaaz, stated, “Karandaaz is passionate about bringing the unbanked into the formal financial sector and improving the current delivery mechanism of financial services. Through this partnership with Bank Alfalah, we hope to promote digital finance which has the potential to reach the underserved and improve speed, safety and convenience of existing banking channels. Bank Alfalah’s outreach within Pakistan and its reputation are key factors that will expand the uptake and usage of digital financial products.”