ISLAMABAD (PRESS RELEASE)
Aiming to further its efforts towards bringing the unbanked and underbanked into the fold of financial services, Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) has signed an agreement with Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB), in the presence of the management of both institutions, to digitize Pakistan’s microfinance industry through ‘Digital Services Platform (DSP).’ PMN is grateful for the support being provided by the UKAID’s DFID for this initiative. DSP will enable Microfinance Providers (MFPs) to ride on the rail road of Digital Financial Service Providers with the twin objectives of increasing accessibility for clients and bringing efficiency through available distribution channel. The agreement will help the microfinance sector to achieve its goal of reaching out to 10m borrowers, 50m deposit accounts and 11m insurance clients by 2020.
PMN aims to leverage the capabilities of Telenor Microfinance Bank’s branchless banking solutions to power its Digital Services Platform that will offer digital payments services in a shared hosting environment. Building such a platform for the microfinance sector is pivotal to increase outreach of financial services as envisaged by National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) and Financial Inclusion Programme (FIP).
DSP will be integrated with Telenor Microfinance Bank for its agent network for disbursement and repayment transactions. PMN will also be using the bank’s services for daily settlement of funds with its members. This collaboration will allow clients of PMN member institutions to receive loans and deposit loan repayments at Telenor Bank’s agents as well as through mobile wallets. This will help in increasing the outreach of microfinance institutions by leveraging the outreach of TMB’s wide agent network.
Speaking on the occasion, Syed Mohsin Ahmed, CEO at PMN said, “This agreement is beginning of a long journey, a journey in which we want to keep a lens on our clients and work with our members towards end to end digitization of the Microfinance operations – from loan acquisition to recovery and from opening of m-wallet accounts to increased usability of those accounts. Our aim is to create a network effect that transforms the way we have been working and move towards digital transactions at the chabriwala level”.
Aslam Hayat, acting CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank commented, “Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB) aims to enable the underserved people of Pakistan to transform their lives, by creating a digital ecosystem, whereby mobile wallets become a central platform, which will help achieve economic empowerment and rapid growth. This collaboration with PMN will enable their member institutions to receive and deposit loan repayments by leveraging TMB’s agents and wallets, thereby providing more convenience and wider accessibility.”