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ISLAMABAD: JazzCash has been playing a pivotal role in supporting Pakistan’s financial inclusion ambitions and aims to accelerate it while increasing its user base from 38 million to 100 million in the next five years.

Talking to Business Recorder, Aamir Ibrahim, CEO of Jazz said that JazzCash has evolved to become a truly digital lifestyle and payments partner – catering to an increasingly broader spectrum of customer needs in just over a few years since its inception.

Ranging from savings accounts to debit cards, merchant QR payments, and insurance products to becoming the primary transactional wallet offering for youth and the largest digital credit provider in Pakistan, JazzCash has expanded and grown its unparalleled digital payment offering to newer heights. In 2021, alone, 1.7 billion transactions worth around Rs3 trillion – an approximate 6.5 percent equivalent of Pakistan’s GDP – was transacted through JazzCash. Apart from being used to pay utility bills and transfer money, the platform also has nearly 1 million monthly active lending customers and 215,000 registered merchants using QR and digital payments.

“We cater to 38 million users with secure, convenient and reliable digital financial services. Yet, our work is far from over. JazzCash is committed to the Government of Pakistan’s financial inclusion ambitions by banking the unbanked.

We are looking to ensure a 100 million Pakistanis’ digital financial needs are served by JazzCash in the next five years. Furthermore, we see huge potential of growth of digital financial services (DFS) in the agriculture sector of Pakistan and building services and products designed for farmers as well as the entire value chain. Our plans revolve around enabling all participants of the agricultural ecosystem to access tools necessary to weather financial storms through formal borrowing with security and convenience,” Aamir added.

Pakistan has been set on a progressive digitalisation path having achieved several milestones in recent times. These include the introduction of regulatory frameworks for new digital payment providers, improving the underlying technological architecture with introduction of RAAST and several innovative schemes such as Roshan Digital Account, attracting domestic and foreign users and promoting formal banking in Pakistan. These steps remain instrumental in serving as a catalyst for greater financial inclusion and should, consequently, improve investments in Pakistan’s digital payments infrastructure, securing international partnerships and improved digital and financial literacy across Pakistan’s social strata.

“A key part of our strategy includes advancing women’s participation and increasing their share in the benefits of financial inclusion,” believes Aamir. Women today account for 22 percent of all active accounts on JazzCash’s platform. There is strong global evidence suggesting improving access to DFS serves to reducing poverty and improving labour force participation. JazzCash holds this belief and has acted through several initiatives in pursuit of improving lives of ordinary Pakistanis. To this end, JazzCash’s participation in programmes like GSMA’s Connected Women have remained in aim of enabling women from various backgrounds, to be technologically and financially equipped and equally contribute to growth of a healthy digital economy.

“JazzCash is transforming the digital financial landscape. We are servicing users through state-of-the-art technology infrastructure combined with revamped consumer and merchant apps, and over 160,000 agents, nationwide. The next step in this evolutionary path is to introduce products that offer high-yield savings and investment options including special attention to digitalising payments in Pakistan’s key development sectors. By becoming central to serving customers’ financial needs, notably the underbanked consumers and SMEs, JazzCash will create inroads to previously untapped segments, significantly improving financial inclusion along the way,” Aamir concluded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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