A major Chinese digital financial services company on Tuesday invested 184.5 million U.S. dollars to a mobile payment services Easypaisa in Pakistan to help boost the country's mobile payment and digital financial services.

China's Ant Financial Services Group reached a strategic partnership agreement and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Norwegian Telenor Group in an effort to bring mobile payment and inclusive financial services to individuals and small and micro businesses in Pakistan.

The Easypaisa, the Pakistan's first mobile financial services platform launched in 2009, belongs to Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB), a subsidiary of Telenor group. Under the agreement, the investment by the Ant Financial will provide it 45 percent stake from the TMB.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appreciated the partnership between the two companies, adding that the collaboration would help broadening access to financial services through digital payment solutions for the Pakistani consumers, according to a joint press release by the two financial companies.

"Partnering with a world leading payment provider like Ant Financial will strengthen Telenor Microfinance Bank's future payment platform and set new standards in the digital banking business in Pakistan," said Sigve Brekke, CEO of Telenor Group

Jing Xiandong, CEO of Ant Financial, said that "we are very happy to share our technology knowhow with Telenor Microfinance Bank to bring improved user experience on the Easypaisa mobile payment platform, as well as provide inclusive financial services in a transparent, safe, low cost and efficient way to the unbanked and underbanked population in Pakistan."

According to the World Bank, about 100 million Pakistanis are unbanked, accounting for 5 percent of the world's total unbanked population. The cooperation of the Ant Financial and Telenor is expected to provide micro-finance and related financial services to the less privileged and unbanked segment of the Pakistani society.

 

Email: gaohan@nbd.com.cn