KARACHI: Bank Alfalah (BAFL) and Warid Telecom formally launched a mobile banking solution using a shared mobile money network, built on Visa’s Fundamo technology, launched by Monet, according to a press release issued on Wednesday.
Monet – an independent mobile financial services company – partnered with Fundamo – Visa’s subsidiary and one of the world’s largest specialist mobile financial service providers – to launch a mobile money network in Pakistan, the press release said.
Monet – which was set up by the Abu Dhabi Group last year – had secured approval from the State Bank of Pakistan to build its network, which is being offered to local firms planning to launch mobile money services.
The platform will enable BAFL – the sixth largest financial institution in Pakistan – and Warid to jointly offer mobile and branchless banking to its existing and potential customer base, the statement said.
Despite exemplary growth of the financial services, majority of Pakistanis remain unbanked. According to the Pakistan Access to Finance survey, only 12% of the population has access to formal financial services. By contrast, mobile penetration stood just under 70% percent, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s statistics.
A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group estimates that 35% of Pakistan’s adult population will be using mobile financial services by 2020. Thus, now is the perfect time to introduce new branchless banking services to Pakistan.
“We are building an open and collaborative ecosystem which benefits all the stakeholders of the financial services ecosystem in Pakistan,” said Monet CEO Ali Abbas Sikander. “Collaborative mobile financial services, as opposed to bank-led or teleco-led deployment, are the paradigm shift, which will assist in creating a bigger and less costly enabling environment for the issuers, acquirers and service providers,” Sikander went on to say.
“Visa [Fundamo’s parent company] is committed to driving financial inclusion in Pakistan,” said Kamran Siddiqi, General Manager of Visa Middle East and North Africa region.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2013.
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