Features & opinions | Connectivity, Financial inclusion, Huawei, JazzCash, Technology

Driving financial and technological inclusivity through digital financial services

October 10, 2022 | DTW news room

By: James Tang, Vice President of Huawei Software Business Unit, Huawei

At TM Forum’s Digital Transformation World 2022 event, JazzCash presented its 10-year journey in promoting financial and technological inclusivity through digital means. JazzCash is the digital financial services arm of Jazz – VEON Ltd.’s telecom subsidiary in Pakistan – and boasts the largest mobile wallet offering with over 16 million active users. Representatives from JazzCash will shed light on its meteoric growth over the past 3 years, provide context to Pakistan’s digital payment prospects, JazzCash’s strategic endeavors, successes and challenges, thus far.

Pakistan has been treading the path of a digital revolution for several years with mobile phone penetration hovering in the range of 80%, a GDP per capita having grown by ~ 5.4% in 2021, and a burgeoning middle class leading the early adoption of digital payments in various spheres of life. With more than 120 million Pakistani adults considered unbanked, the majority of whom are women, Pakistan ranks high in comparison to peer nations for its untapped banking potential. This makes it an attractive destination to a growing number of local and international prospective financial service providers.

JazzCash has centered its offerings around the objective of universal financial inclusion – servicing  all members of society – especially those traditionally excluded and underserved by the formal financial service providers. Building on connectivity provided by telecom providers, JazzCash has been successful in amassing Pakistan’s largest agent footprint that serve as human ATMs and facilitate the cash to digital money conversion across the nation.

 JazzCash is also the largest acquirer of merchants, by far, including chain outlets, traditional mom-n-pop shops, restaurants, grocers etc. equipped with Quick Response (QR) technology – fostering the growth of a robust digital payments ecosystem in both urban and rural pockets of Pakistan.

ReadyCash offering, a nano-lending product offering instant loans of up to PKR 10,000 (~USD 45), is another testament to JazzCash’s contributions to improving lives of everyday users of financial services. The ReadyCash customer base has grown to serve over one million customers a month with an ever-expanding portfolio size.

Driven to serve customers through contextual and data driven need assessment, JazzCash continues to attain relevance in addressing their everyday financial needs. Enabled by its recently revamped, redesigned and improved mobile application, JazzCash now offers a wider array of services to its customers – expanding its offerings to include in-app gaming, booking rides and cinema tickets, contributing to savings and making investments, and e-commerce purchases within the comfort of the JazzCash app.

JazzCash has, furthermore, grown its presence in Pakistan’s financial services space through strategic, multi-sectoral partnerships and by pioneering several government initiatives on financial inclusion. JazzCash’s plans for developing an inclusive digital payments eco-system have remained integral to its ambition of ensuring customers’ financial needs are met in an affordable and convenient manner, and that an enabling platform be provided for other players to augment a culture of innovation and service quality in the financial services space in Pakistan.

Huawei: A Pakistani and regional context

Huawei has been in partnership with JazzCash since 2014 providing its high performance wallet platform; featuring agility, scalability and real-time risk control. Huawei’s Wallet Platform has proven to be a powerful accelerator for mobile money success in Pakistan as evidenced in the rapid growth of JazzCash’s wallet offerings. Providing a robust and technologically advanced platform has allowed Huawei to serve towards the Pakistan’s digital and financial inclusion agenda aimed particularly at economically disadvantaged segments of the society.

Huawei FinTech solutions have significantly grown in breadth of services offered and have successfully transformed leading fintech businesses in the region. With a highly reputed cloud native architecture, capable of integrating services including risk control and credit scoring to its core wallet platform, Huawei now aims to further build upon its artificial intelligence and blockchain expertise to introduce the next generation of FinTech solutions by the end of 2022. Huawei’s aims to address the challenge of serving of over 380 million unbanked individuals in the over 30 countries across Asia and Africa it operates in. This untapped potential provides an opportunity for Huawei to broaden the scope of its services with regional partners.

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