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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Pakistan one step closer to a cashless society

News Analysis |

In a major move aimed at driving the cashless ecosystem in Pakistan further, Mastercard – a leading technology company in the global payments industry – and Easypaisa – the first and largest mobile financial service (MFS) provider in the country – will now enable Masterpass QR payments for Easypaisa Mobile Account users on the Easypaisa smartphone application.

Masterpass QR is the country’s first interoperable QR payment service that allows smartphone consumers to simply scan a QR code of thousands of merchants countrywide and make instant and secure payments.

The innovative and cost-effective solution, which first went live in Pakistan in August 2016, makes it easy for customers to pay for purchases for a wide variety of goods and services.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Microfinance Bank, Shahid Mustafa said, “Since our inception, we have been working relentlessly to transform Pakistan’s financial landscape. This partnership with Mastercard is significant as it allows us to offer thousands of merchants to our customers to make digital payments. We will continue to partner with leading financial players like Mastercard to pursue our shared digital and financial inclusion goals in the country.”

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The Masterpass QR service will now be available to more than 10 million Easypaisa Mobile Account customers who use the Easypaisa Mobile App.

Customers without an Easypaisa Mobile Account can simply download the Easypaisa App from the Google Play store or iOS App store to open an Easypaisa Mobile Account within seconds. To make payments for retail purchases, users will need to simply scan the QR code at the merchant’s checkout counter, using their Easypaisa App from their smartphones. They will then be required to enter the payment amount to complete the transaction instantly.

“Mastercard is dedicated to catering to the evolving needs of customers in Pakistan by providing them with innovative and convenient payment solutions,” said Magdy Hassan, General Manager of Egypt and Pakistan.

“Our collaboration with Easypaisa stems from our collective aspirations to drive financial inclusion in Pakistan, and will further drive the growing adoption of Masterpass QR in the country. With this launch, we are another step closer to Mastercard’s vision of a cashless and more inclusive Pakistan,” Hassan added.

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Bank Alfalah and Telenor Microfinance Bank held a ceremony in Karachi to launch a payment facilitator relationship that provides existing and potential Telenor Microfinance Bank customers with the opportunity to transact on Bank Alfalah’s advanced payment gateway. The ceremony was attended by the CEOs and senior management of both organizations.

Through this partnership, Telenor Microfinance Bank will be able to provide customers with a convenient and secure way to make e-commerce transactions.

This partnership will also help expand the online card acceptance footprint, supporting the development of a digital payment ecosystem in Pakistan. With the Bank Alfalah payment gateway, Telenor Microfinance Bank can offer online merchant payment acceptance from all online, multi-branded cards.

Since its inception, Bank Alfalah has grown rapidly to become Pakistan’s sixth largest private bank, the largest issuer, and acquirer of credit cards and one of the largest Islamic Banking businesses in the country.

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The Bank has a network of over 630 branches spanning more than 200 cities with the presence in the UAE Bangladesh and Bahrain. The Bank serves more than 1.5 million corporate, retail, small business, agricultural, Islamic and asset financing customers. In 2017, Bank Alfalah was named ‘Best Bank’ at the Pakistan Banking Awards.

Meanwhile, according to PV tech, Pakistani financier JS Bank has partnered with local solar firm, Nizam Energy, on a PV module financing solution directed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The smart panel solution, named JS Smart Roshni, will allow SMEs that use Nizam’s solar modules and technical services to benefit from financing of up to PKR10 million (~US$86,500) at a mark-up of 6% from the bank, while reducing the SMEs’ dependency on grid power.

Babbar Wajid, head of product development and business management, JS Bank, said: “Our partnership with Nizam Energy reflects our commitment to provide customers with responsible solutions for their energy needs while creating medium to long-term savings. This initiative will help our clients increase operational efficiency in an environmentally responsible manner, and help reduce the load on the national grid.”

Usman Ahmad, CEO, Nizam Energy, commented: “With easy and low-cost financing solutions provided by JS Bank, we can further enable customers across Pakistan to avail solar power generation solutions with financing support.”