Tuesday 7 May 2013

Meezan Bank, Pakistan’s leading Islamic Bank, has announced plans to launch Branchless Banking services in Pakistan very soon. In this regard Meezan Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Monet and Warid Telecom as partners for the rollout of this exciting and important new initiative that will allow people who do not have access to financial services (85 per cent of Pakistan’s population) to avail Islamic banking services.
Through this memorandum, Meezan Bank has joined Bank Alflah and Warid Telecom as founding member to create Mobile Money Network which would be subject to SBP approvals under the branchless banking regulations. The arrangement will give Meezan Bank access to the extensive agent network provided by Monet. Account holders of both Meezan and Monet will be able to send or receive money from each other. This interconnection between two independent branchless banking platforms would be the first of its kind in Pakistan.
The MoU was jointly signed by Meezan Bank’s Chief Operating Officer, Ariful Islam, Warid Telecom’s Chief Commercial Officer, Younus Iqbal Sheikh and Monet’s Chief Executive Officer, Ali Abbas Sikander. Meezan’s Branchless banking platform will enable customers to make domestic remittances, utility bill payments, mobile top-ups etc. “Meezan Bank, as Pakistan’s leading Islamic Bank, endeavours to bring innovative new products and services to its customers and endorses the power of innovation to drive the long term growth” said Ariful Islam. He further added “This will drive collaboration between banks, mobile operators, merchants and distribution networks to bridge the financial services divide between the banked and un-banked customers.”
Arshad Majeed, Group Head Operations of Meezan Bank said “At Meezan Bank we understand that branchless banking will be a critical platform in providing access to financial services in Pakistan. This arrangement will extend benefits of Shariah-compliant branchless banking to millions of Pakistanis.” Muneer Farooqui, CEO of Warid Telecom said “Warid is excited to play its role in the development of a first-of-its-kind financial eco-system with partner banks for our customers and distribution networks. The Warid Payment Gateway is the first step to create a bridge between distribution networks and banks with an independent PSP like Monet”.
Younus Iqbal Sheikh of Warid Telecom said “cellular technology holds the key to development and growth of the economy in developing nations, since their reach is un-matched in terms of connectivity. The Warid Payment Gateway has the potential to revolutionise the way small & large businesses transact on a daily basis in Pakistan with the ultimate beneficiaries being Pakistani citizens, whether it is a cattle farmer selling his products to a multinational dairy on a daily basis, a small business owner making routine payments to suppliers, or a large financial institution making large B2B payments.” Ali Abbas Sikander, CEO of Monet said “We are building an interoperable and collaborative eco-system which benefits all the stakeholders of the financial services in Pakistan to extend outreach to large financially excluded segments.


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