Karachi: QistBazaar, a leading Pakistan-based Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Fintech, announces a significant equity and Shariah-Compliant embedded finance partnership with Bank Alfalah - one of Pakistan’s largest commercial banks.
The partnership is worth PKR 500 million (US$1.7m) , and includes Bank Alfalah taking a 7.2% equity stake in QistBazaar, as well as becoming the Company’s embedded lending partner.
The transaction is a milestone for Pakistan’s fintech landscape, as it is the first time a commercial bank has taken an equity stake in a BNPL fintech.
QistBazaar is a fast-growing, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) licensed, BNPL, non-bank financial company (NBFCs) platform. The Company caters to all Pakistanis; from those unbanked and with little to no financial history, up to those banking at established institutions. It is unique in various different ways including that since day one of trading, it has been EBITDA positive.
Since inception in 2021, QistBazaar’s platform has delivered over 20,000 products to the unbanked consumers: everything from mobile phones to refrigerators - available via affordable monthly payments. With over 30 years of historic data, spanning 250,000+ individuals, QistBazaar has revolutionized the scoring process for instalment based purchases. The Company’s eligibility criteria is simple - “Every Pakistani”. Unlike other BNPLs, QistBazaar’s sales are on a 12 month plan, and include an element of extra profit on every sale.
QistBazaar will benefit from enhanced digital financing products, via Bank Alfalah, within its platform to offer embedded consumer durables financing on BNPL - deepening its ability to serve customers with limited/no access to formal credit. The partnership will also enhance the overall customer experience, improving financial inclusion, and providing innovative solutions.
Atif Bajwa, President and CEO of Bank Alfalah, commented:
“Bank Alfalah is committed to working with partners to address the needs of customers with limited access to credit and lower purchasing power. Our collaboration with QistBazaar through an equity investment and Islamic-embedded financing deal marks a significant step forward. This partnership aims to provide inventive financial solutions, creating new opportunities for growth and support for these underserved customers.”
Arif Lakhani, CEO of QistBazaar, said:
“QistBazaar has been on a mission to democratise purchasing power. In our first 18 months of existence, we have served over 17,000 Pakistanis - most of whom do not have bank accounts, and could not have completed their purchases without going through us. Our milestone achievement with Bank Alfalah - coming in as our equity and embedded financing partner - and with their guidance and experience, makes our work and mission much easier to execute. We look forward to the future with great confidence.”
The signing ceremony was attended by QistBazaar’s co-founders Arif Lakhani and Karim Gilani, plus other executives. Bank Alfalah’s senior leadership also attended, 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.
The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) facility is becoming increasingly popular among consumers due to its affordability, convenience and financial flexibility while offering a cost-effective solution to traditional means of purchasing in times of high-interest rates.