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ISLAMABAD: Karandaaz - a registered firm - as a service programme has been subsidizing design thinking services since last year for digital financial service providers that offer products through mobile and web-based platforms.

This year Karandaaz is again offering an opportunity for entities that have an existing mobile or web-based platform of their product or service or intend to develop one, to apply for matching grants from Karandaaz for contracting design thinking services. For this, Karandaaz has formed a panel of top-of-the-line design thinking service providers and is subsidizing their services for the applicants through matching grants. Financial products can be complex and may appear more daunting for a majority of the population when presented digitally. Hence a majority of the population, especially in an economy with low literacy levels and even more inadequate financial literacy, are unable to benefit from them.

The limitation results in lower understanding, lack of trust, lesser adoption, and the potential of such products to impact financial inclusion remains untapped. This year Karandaaz has further fine-tuned the program and increased the matching grant amount to up to Rs 1 million. The design agencies that Karandaaz has included in the panel are Ideate Innovation, Designist, and Systems Limited, all with a proven track record of solving design problems for renowned organizations through the use of best international practices of human-centered design. For each applicant, the most appropriate design thinking service provider from the panel will be selected on cost and quality-based criteria. The last date to apply under this program is April 18, 2021. Interested entities can apply online at bit.ly/design _Karandaaz

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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