Bank Alfalah said on Friday that it has entered the venture capital ecosystem as it has signed an agreement to acquire a 7.2% equity stake worth Rs140 million in QistBazaar, a Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)-licensed Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) non-bank financial company (NBFCs) platform.
According to a press release issued by Bank Alfalah, the acquisition marks the first time a commercial bank has taken an equity stake in a BNPL fintech.
“With this collaboration, the Bank aims to transform the BNPL landscape in Pakistan and pave the way for more collaboration between commercial banks and fintechs.”
In addition to the equity agreement, Bank Alfalah and QistBazaar signed an embedded financing agreement in Shariah-Compliant mode for up to Rs350 million, subject to terms and conditions.
“The Bank will incorporate digital financing product within the QistBazaar platform to offer embedded consumer durables financing on BNPL. This will target customers with limited or no access to formal credit. The partnership is expected to usher in a new era by enhancing the customer experience, improving financial inclusion, and providing innovative solutions,” stated the press release.
The signing ceremony was attended by senior leadership from Bank Alfalah including Atif Bajwa, President and CEO; Aasim Wajid Jawad, Group Head of Strategy, Transformation, Customer Experience and Venture Capital Investments and Yahya Khan, Group Head of Digital Banking.
From QistBazaar, CoFounders Arif Lakhani and Karim Gilani, along with other executives, attended the event.