Paymob, Mena’s market-leading digital payments provider, has announced a new, strategic relationship with Bank Alfalah, in one of Pakistan’s largest fintech partnerships to date.

Paymob’s partnership with one of Pakistan’s leading private banks will drive financial inclusion and lead the way for swift payment acceptance, and follows Paymob’s Pakistan market entry, and general Menap expansion strategy.

Paymob has signed an agreement with Bank Alfalah to activate and support merchant acquisition and integration services across the country. This collaboration will enable an instant onboarding feature for the first time in Pakistan using Paymob’s advanced solutions such as payment gateway integration, POS terminals and SoftPOS.

Instant onboarding feature

The instant onboarding feature is empowered by the digital onboarding regulations recently published by the State Bank of Pakistan and comes as one of many positive steps the State Bank has led to enable MSME Merchants in order to further digitise the ecosystem.

The partnership follows the launch of Paymob’s industry-first “Tap-on-Phone” payment acceptance mechanism in Egypt. The Tap-on-Phone service will also be accessible for Pakistan-based merchants, enabling them to use mobile phones directly to service payments.

Paymob aims to empower over 100,000 merchants across Pakistan, in the first 24 months, and improve e-commerce acceptance for online merchants.

Market opportunity

The market opportunity in Pakistan is significant given the range of retail outlets and SME businesses across the country’s cities. With over four million SMEs using just over 80,000 POS terminals and less than 3000 e-commerce payment gateways, the market is perfectly suited to meet Paymob’s criteria and strategy to expand globally – and bridge the digital financial gap.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Karachi, Alain El-Hajj, COO of Paymob, said: “This is a remarkable moment for Paymob. We are honored to partner with Bank Alfalah under its progressive leadership to provide reliable and seamless digital payment services for SMEs across Pakistan. With this partnership we aim to contribute the shared vision of economic growth and digitisation of SMEs.”

Atif Bajwa, CEO and Director of Bank Alfalah said: “Our collaboration will aim to serve thousands of merchants across Pakistan and the industry first “Tap-on-Phone” service will allow us to reach even the most remotely located merchants in Pakistan.”

Positive drivers

Pakistan’s market has several positive drivers. GDP growth is forecast at 5-6% per annum, with the total value of e-commerce consumer goods having grown by 83% in 2021 to reach $3.9 billion. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority reports that 101 million people use the internet in Pakistan, with 46% having access to broadband services and 85% (183 million) to mobile connections.

According to the PIDE, Pakistan has the potential for significant Fintech growth, due to its increasing youth population, disruptive internet and smartphone penetration, consumer preferences for mobile phones and social media, a booming e-commerce market facilitating digital payments, and the financial system’s overall capacity for innovation.

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