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Thursday, June 20, 2024

SBP awards EMI license to Finja

Pakistani Fintech Startup Finja has gotten commercial approval for the EMI (Electronic Money Institution) license from the State Bank of Pakistan. The bank was also the first one to receive the approval, in principle, from the SBP in April 2020.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has recently granted FINJA commercial approval for the EMI (Electronic Money Institution) license. It was also the first fintech in Pakistan to receive in-principle approval for this license in April 2020 from the central bank.

With this latest approval, fintech has the early-movers advantage as Finja has become the second Fintech in Pakistan to hold multiple regulatory licenses. This could allow the company to scale its Finja app to include and attract more customers.

It is worth mentioning that NayaPay, another Pakistani fintech backed by the sponsors of the Lakson Group was the first one to get an EMI license by SBP on 2nd September 2021.

Finja since its formation has made over $1.7 billion in transactional volume with its assets under management grew over 200 per cent from 2020.

The company has scaled its digital lending portfolio by 640 per cent since the pandemic began in April 2020, disbursing over 50,000 loans to more than 10,000 small businesses across Pakistan.

Finja is committed to its vision of growing technology ecosystems in Pakistan by providing access to digital payments and EMoney Wallet-based solutions through open APIs, hence contributing to the accelerating start-up sector, the press release by the company read.

It added, “With an NBFC (Non-Banking Finance Corporation) license by SECP (Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan) and an EMI by SBP; Finja becomes the first non-banking entity in Pakistan to own a platform that can solicit customer deposits, plug into the country’s payment plumbing, authenticate and onboard new users and provide digital credit solutions to small and medium businesses and the people that they employ.”

Commenting on this development, CEO and Cofounder of Finja Qasif Shahid said, “Finja occupies a unique position in the value chain to partner and collaborates with commercial and microfinance banks, upcoming DFIs (Digital Financial Institutions), EMIs, FMCGs, distributors, merchants, and other cross-industry incumbents to provide payment solutions and digital credit in line with the evolving needs of SMEs and the professionals that they employ.”

The company had also received support from Habib Bank Limited, which in May 2021 invested in the digital fintech startup with its Rs. 176 million (USD 1.15 Million) participation in the last tranche of Finja’s Rs. 1.56 billion (USD10.15 million) Series A1 round.

Read More: Fintech revolution at Pakistan’s doorstep – do you know what it is?

Co-Founded by Monis Rehman, Qasif Shahid, and Umer Munawar in 2016, Finja is backed by leading global venture capital funds including Vostok Emerging Finance, BeeNext, Quona Capital, Gray MacKenzie, ICU Ventures, and HBL.