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Meezan Bank and Karandaaz Pakistan to Conduct Study on Using Technology to Boost Financial Inclusion

January 21st, 2016

Meezan Bank and Karandaaz Pakistan have recently signed an MoU for conducting a first-of-its-kind study aimed at improving financial inclusion for the unbanked population of the country. The MoU forms the foundation for the parties’ long term goal to improve the socio-economic status of the low-income strata population.

Under the agreement, Karandaaz Pakistan and Meezan Bank will join hands to conduct a study for a pilot program aimed at using technology to make banking facilities available to the underprivileged members of the society. The study will evaluate the proposition from various perspectives encompassing financial inclusion, segment-based beneficiary identification; creation of a digital credit scoring algorithm and conducting awareness programs about this initiative for the masses. Karandaaz Pakistan will provide technical and financial assistance for conducting the study and developing the program.

The signing ceremony of this MoU took place at Meezan Bank’s Head Office at Karachi, and was attended by senior management from both organizations including, from Meezan Bank, Mr. Irfan Siddiqui, President & CEO, Mr. Arshad Majeed, Group Head Payment Services, Mr. Khurram Shaikh, Head Branchless Banking and Mr. Danish Ahmed, Head Branchless Banking Operations; and from  Karandaaz Pakistan – Mr. Imdad Aslam, Interim CEO, Director Digital Financial Services, Mr. Bilal Ali Qureshi, Associate Digital Financial Services and Ms. Samar Hasan, Senior Manager Knowledge Management and Communications.

Commenting on the occasion Mr. Arshad Majeed said: “Meezan Bank is already on its way towards accomplishing the financial inclusion goals through its Islamic Branchless Banking services. Our collaboration with Karandaaz Pakistan will allow us to capitalize on our branchless banking capabilities to create a positive economic impact on the lives of vast unbanked and underdeveloped classes in the country. Subsequently as this project matures, we shall Insha’Allah see a full scale impression on the Pakistani market.”

Mr. Imdad Aslam, Director and Interim CEO, Karandaaz Pakistan spoke of the parties’ commitment and desire to work together and said:“The collaboration between Karandaaz Pakistan and Meezan Bank will have immediate and promising gains for Pakistan’s economy by driving technological growth and providing an expansive reality to Islamic financial services, particularly to the individuals who are inhibited by barriers associated with a weak banking infrastructure in the rural areas. We believe this to be an excellent opportunity to introduce Pakistan’s unbanked population to digital financial services so as to drive them towards greater financial inclusion.”

About Karandaaz Pakistan

Karandaaz Pakistan (ww.karandaaz.com.pk), a private company established in August 2014, promotes access to finance for small businesses through a commercially directed investment platform, and financial inclusion for individuals by employing technology enabled digital solutions. The Company has financial and institutional support from leading international development finance institutions; principally UKAid’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a member of the World Bank Group, managed the start-up phase of the Company and continues to provide technical support.

The Company has three work streams, Digital Financial Services, Corporate Investment and Credit and Knowledge Management and Communications. The Corporate Investment and Credit line of business of Karandaaz provides wholesale structured credit and equity-linked direct growth capital investments in small and mid-size enterprises with compelling prospects for sustainable growth and employment generation in Pakistan. Karandaaz Pakistan is sponsored and governed by eminent Pakistanis, and is managed by an experienced team with core expertise in international investment management and digital finance.

Meezan Bank and Karandaaz Pakistan

Mr. Irfan Siddiqui, President & CEO, Mr. Arshad Majeed, Group Head Payment Services from Meezan Bank and Mr. Imdad Aslam, Interim CEO and Director Digital Financial Services, Karandaaz Pakistan, alongwith their teams.