Telenor Microfinance Bank is a Pakistani microfinance bank which is based in Karachi, Pakistan. It was founded in 2006 by Nadeem Hussain as Tameer Microfinance Bank and was later acquired by Telenor Pakistan. As a company which is in the limelight during the ongoing pandemic, Business Recorder recently spoke to the CEO of Telenor Microfinance Bank to gauge an idea on the current and future plans of the company.
Mohammad Mudassar Aqil is the CEO of Telenor Microfinance Bank or Easypaisa. As a person with 21 years of banking experience, he offers his experience in organizational restructuring, digital finance, FinTech partnerships, and business growth with tremendous success.
When speaking with the BR, he stressed that no one had any idea how unpredictable this year anyone could have predicted how vast the impact of this outbreak was going to be. He did state that the company has been working to work around this and progress with their business plan amidst Covid-19. He said: ”We have business continuity plans to deal with all kinds of situations but an apparent lack of test cases in the past has brought about a challenge for us too. Still, as of now we are more focused on finding solutions to this complex situation in front of us and treating this as an opportunity to reposition the business for the changes that are afoot all over the world”.
He went on to appreciate the way various stakeholders have handled the pandemic with various malignancies from the Government and companies around the country. He showed support towards healthcare providers, LEAs, government departments and all essential service providers who have been working on the frontline and the society owes a lot to these men and women.
When asked about the challenges currently faced by the financial services industry, he highlighted that banks will now look towards strengthening their balance sheets and liquidity and have to adopt digital services. With an ongoing debate about the spread of viruses through currencies, he stressed that “The State Bank of Pakistan has instructed all financial institutions to quarantine all notes before releasing them back into circulation but we are witnessing a healthy shift towards the use of digital services”. He highlighted that Easypaisa has been further upgraded to add more solutions to their customers for cashless transactions at the comfort of their homes such as: maintaining accounts and wallet, transferring of money and conducting payments, recharging their mobile balances, paying utility bills, availing various discounts and topping up their wallets which are also integrated with various e-commerce platforms. The company’s aim is to provide incentives to the population that uses cash for 80% of all its transactions.
Mudassar Aqil spoke on the shift towards Digital Financial Services and highlighted that it is great to see the growth of DFS in Pakistan as “Interbank transfers, airtime purchases and a host of other transactions including cashless payments at physical or online stores have shown tremendous growth’.