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KARACHI: The Akhtar Fuiou Technologies (AFT) has signed an agreement with Mastercard underlining its commitment to participate in the Mastercard Community Pass Programme.

Digitt+, Pakistan’s first regulated agri-fintech company that’s powered by AFT, intends to connect untapped agricultural markets with digital payment solutions and become the first entity to launch Mastercard Commerce Pass in Pakistan.

Mastercard’s Commerce Pass is an offline, stored-value account product that enables consumers and micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to store, receive, and spend funds digitally, providing security and transparency to merchants and consumers alike. This digital payment solution reduces the risks of storing and moving cash.

About half of Pakistan’s workforce is employed in agriculture sector; however, insufficient infrastructure in agricultural communities hinders financial services and other organisations from serving these individuals. Pakistan is also home to 8 percent of the world’s unbanked adults. Commerce Pass will help bring these individuals into the formal economy by providing a record of transactions to facilitate access to credit and other financial services.

This digital payment solution will also help support financial resilience for the 63 percent of Pakistanis who live in rural areas and are otherwise dependent upon informal lending channels.

Commerce Pass is just one of the services offered under Mastercard’s Community Pass portfolio, which is a shared and interoperable digital technology platform designed to address the infrastructure challenges in digitising rural communities, such as unreliable connectivity, low smartphone ownership, and lack of consistent identification or credentials.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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