The President and CEO of Tameer Microfinance Bank Ltd, Nadeem Husain, has said that microfinance banking is more advance in Pakistan than any other country in the region as verification system through NADRA is not available in India, Bangladesh or most of the countries in the region.
Addressing a press briefing at the Karachi Press Club, Husain said in this gloomy economic scenario, microfinance banking could be a ray of hope and play a vital role in eradicating unemployment in the country. He said Tameer Bank had provided people access to finance who were not banked or could not take loans from other commercial banks. He said Tameer Bank’s outreach had expanded manyfolds due to Branchless Banking (Easypaisa) which has opened the doors for financial inclusion. “This is a bank for the common people, who can approach and take small loans”, Nadeem assured.
Nadeem said due to many regulations microfinance banking could not reach to its targeted consumers as there should be at least 30 million consumers of micro financing while it only 300,000 only. He said Pakistan’s model of microfinance banking was far better than Grameen Bank in Bangladesh as Tameer Bank’s volume through Easypaisa was three times more than Grameen Bank.
He said that Tameer Bank through Easypaisa had announced the availability of its Inter Bank Fund Transfer (IBFT) service to enable customers to transfer funds between a number of Banks via the 1-link switch. With IBFT for Easypaisa, the service has become the first mobile money service in Pakistan to become interoperable with the existing banking infrastructure. Easypaisa’s IBFT service will be available for its Mobile Account holders and Over-the-Counter (OTC) customers.
Easypaisa Mobile Account holders can now move funds from any Bank Account into their Easypaisa Mobile Account and vice versa conveniently and securely, thus overcoming one of the hurdles of getting funds into the branchless banking systems.
Once the funds are in the Easypaisa Mobile Account, customers can proceed to use the most convenient and secure bill payment, money transfer or airtime recharge service in the country through the Easypaisa Mobile Account on their mobiles nearly 6 million unique customers using Easypaisa services each month, banked customers can deposit cash into their bank accounts without having to go into their bank branches.
He said that customers will only need to approach an Easypaisa shop, provide their CNIC and their bank account number to use this service. This cash deposit facility will be available at Easypaisa shops while they are open, often late into the night and even on weekends.
“It is great step in the branchless banking industry, a revolutionary development which will act as a catalyst for the robust growth of the branchless banking industry in Pakistan,” Nadeem said.
“Easypaisa now connects the unbanked directly to the banking infrastructure by enabling them to send and receive money on their Mobile Accounts and through OTC services. Almost 80% of the population in this country is still unbanked and Easypaisa is working day and night to achieve financial inclusion of the unbanked people of Pakistan. In line with this ambition, Easypaisa’s IBFT service provides a platform to the unbanked class to connect with the traditional banking infrastructure, which is likely to boost the mobile banking culture in the country”, Nadeem added.