ISLAMABAD ( BMZ REPORT )
In a recent ceremony held to develop the market for financial inclusion, considering the various socio-economic groups of the society, an agreement between ZaraiTaraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) and U Microfinance Bank Limited was signed.
TheUbank is extending its outreach and thus striving hard to provide financial inclusion to the country’s under-banked segments through ZTBL. This is a huge milestone for the provision of Mobile Wallet, Utility Bills Payments, Funds Transfers, and Recovery of Loans, meanwhile, it will also make Alternative Delivery Channelsavailable to those whom technological based financial products and services did not reach via UPaisa.
“The aim is provide appropriate financial services at an affordable price to low income and marginalized segments of the society,” said Syed Talat Mahmood, President ZTBL.“This is an incredibly significant development in Pakistan for farmers’ community in special and rural segments in general, and all citizens stand to gain access to many of the same basic financial capabilities that were previously unavailable to a majority of the population in these segments of the country,”
Full financial inclusion by definition requires that the users of the financial accounts not only have access to payment services but also have the ability to save and have access to other financial products andservicesbest suitedto such communities.ZTBL also plans to organize Farmers’ Day events at each zonal office level and launch media campaigns though the support of Ubank and Ufone. It is estimated that only 25 million people have access to bank accounts in Pakistan which create a vital need to convert the unbanked population into banked population.
Mobile banking is one of the means of branchless banking that can help in not only documenting the economy but can also play a significant role in poverty alleviation. Through such facilities,consumers can enjoy financial services, such as paying utility bills orloan installments, checking balance inquiry, transferring funds, etc. All of which are just a fingertip away. Through this cost effective and convenient method, ZTBL will capitalize on the increasing trend of ecosystem in the country by offering innovative financial products and services to its customers and further strengthen its position in the market.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Arif Sirhindi – President & CEO Ubank thanked ZTBL Management for choosing Ubank and acknowledged their vision for taking banking to the door step of farmers, with easy to use and cost effective alternative Upaisa.
Mr. Sirhindi, emphasized the need for industry to come up with innovative approach and service to the mass unbanked population of Pakistan, so thatbranchless banking is adopted as a lifestyle by the under-served population, which will result in the realization of financial inclusion dream.
He also briefed the participant regarding the product range of Ubank and how the bank Ufone management is focused on introducing new and innovating products for SME and agriculture sectors, with the focus on reducing cost and adaptability of technology.
“We are delighted to integrate ZTBL Data Center with robust Branchless Banking System ofUbank Limited. This will enable the existing borrowers of the bank to use tools like mobile wallet to deposit/withdraw cash from their loan accounts without visiting branches. This will save traveling cost and time to the farmers to do banking with ZTBL,” said Mr. NaseerPervaz Qureshi, EVP Information System Division
This less branching concept is popular in urban areas where most of the time, clientele visit ATMs without going to the parent branch far day-to-day banking and now with the help of Ubank, ZTBL will gradually introduce branchlessbanking services to the farmers in their villages.