Special Communications Organization (SCO) has joined hands with Habib Bank Limited (HBL) for the Interoperable Mobile Financial Services (MFS) in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). In this regard, a contract signing ceremony was held between the two organizations. This collaboration is a step to jointly creating the required financial services ecosystem in the regions.
The contract signing ceremony was graced by Maj Gen Muhammad Shahid Sideeq, DG SCO, and Chairman HBL, Mr. Sultan Ali Allana.
SCO is providing Digital Financial Services with the brand name “S-Paisa” in AJ&K and GB since 2019. S-Paisa is exclusively disbursing cash for beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) in AJ&K and GB and also affected populations along the Line of Control.
This agreement will be the catalyst to extend the financial outreach and convenience to more than 6 million people in the region through state-of-the-art, convenient, and secure branchless banking services. By virtue of this agreement, multiple services will be leveraged including Mobile Wallet App + USSD, SCOM Prepaid/ Post Paid Biller, AJ&K and GB Barkyaat Bill and Cash in-Cash out through agents, to fulfill the needs of banked as well as the unbanked population of AJ&K and GB.
#HBL and Special Communications Organization (SCO) enter into a strategic partnership to promote financial inclusion in GB and AJK through state-of-the-art, convenient and secure mobile financial services. @hq_sco @StateBank_Pak @OfficialDGISPR #KonnectbyHBL pic.twitter.com/4wR3waJUuA
— HBL (@HBLPak) October 3, 2022
Financial empowerment of communities
Speaking at the ceremony, Maj General Muhammad Shahid Sideeq, DG SCO said, “This venture is an initiative of Digital Transformation of communities. SCO is already contributing to the Financial Inclusion Strategy of SBP and trying to support the process of digitalized and documented economy. With this collaboration, we hope to empower the populace to manage their routine financial transactions using the Digital Services platform being extended by SCO and HBL.
“We are proud to be partners with HBL for this initiative, as it progresses our objective and allows us to reduce the current divide between the unbanked and banked population of the region. This initiative will also open the window for E-commerce activities by providing a secure payment gateway.”
Chairman HBL Mr. Sultan Ali Allana while sharing his views said, “We must provide a digital ecosystem that offers more avenues of banking to the unbanked population of Pakistan. Every Pakistani should be provided with the opportunities that give her or him, financial independence. Financial inclusion through strategic partnerships, such as with the SCO, is a key focus area for HBL.”