Ever wondered why & how the demand of digital wallet has skyrocketed in Pakistan? To understand this shift in behavior, we were lucky to be joined by Omar Moeen Malik, the Head of Digital Wallets & Payments at Telenor Micro Finance Bank Limited for an insights session, powered by The Hindsight’s Company. With over 18 years of professional experience working across stakeholder management, strategy, product development and much more. Omar is passionate about empowering Pakistanis through financial inclusion and digital payment solutions.
Omar gave us insights about the innerworkings of digitization in Pakistan. Easypaisa is one of the most popular platforms that has eased digitized financial transactions in Pakistan. Our population comprises of 220 million people, out of which 50% are adults. However, Pakistan’s bank branches ratio per capita is staggeringly low for our population compared to other countries in the South Asia region. In addition to this out of the 110 million adults in the country, only 40 million have registered bank accounts – an alarming figure as banking has been fully operational in Pakistan for nearly seventy years.
Pakistan has four fully functional and established telecommunication companies and an estimated 90 million mobile customers. As digital wallets and merchants directly correlate it’s vital to note that Pakistan currently has 2 million retail merchants, with a total retail payment market of 200 billion USD per annum. The country currently holds 35,000 POS card devices which are used for swiping debit and credit cards and 40 million (by default) debit cards. Yet 99.9% retail payments in Pakistan are made in cash. Pakistanis are largely cash savvy with a very small share of digitized payments across the board.
According to a business recorder article in 2020, the cash circulation in Pakistan with regard to bank deposits stands at 30% – making it the highest figure in the world.
Making frequent cash payments might not be considered a big deal but the real question lies in whether everyone should have a bank account and make digital payments? This is the gap that easypaisa stands tall to fill. The purpose of Easypaisa’s existence is to encourage every Pakistani citizen to make on the record digital transactions because they are easy, safe, convenient and ultimately result in transparency.
Digitized payments are progressive for the economy and also benefit all their users. The idea is to convert an informal economy into formal financial services which are safe, secure, convenient, affordable and most importantly accessible round the clock. This also allows customers access to credit and savings. Documented financing also reduces the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing and most importantly consolidates tax revenue directly to the government as opposed to being stored with intermediaries.
In simple terms we cannot have a digital economy without digital payments. Easypaisa has successfully established itself as a brand that has changed the face of digitization in Pakistan. Easypaisa has been one of the first ventures to create mobile wallets and make accounts accessible to the general public. The initiative of a telecommunication company and a bank brought together a product and service that has created a significant change in the way transactions are now taking place in Pakistan. The two have actively worked towards foreign remittances and getting mandates which makes life easier for customers. The state bank approving the digital wallet has been one of the biggest achievements in digitization which was a major concern and need across the country.
Easypaisa is currently working with many foreign platforms across the east and far east, embodying all their best practices in financial services for customers. They currently have 30 million registered wallets across Pakistan with a fully functional app to support the mechanism of all their products and services. Easypaisa has also partnered with all relevant companies, organisations and NGOs to ensure financial safety and ease across the country. Pakistan is heading in the right direction but consistency in this area will allow it to further excel and compete with the rest of the world. If you are an individual looking for ease in financial planning then check out www.easypaisa.com.pk and deposit your cash free of cost!