After getting approval from the State Bank of Pakistan in mid of October 2015, Meezan Bank and Ufone have collaboratively launched the first ever Islamic branchless banking in Pakistan. This Islamic branchless banking programme is named as Meezan UPaisa. The strategic partnership of Meezan Bank and Ufone has now moved further by launching an Islamic branchless banking service in the country.
The license for the branchless banking was given by the SBP to both companies after passing through both an evaluation phase and then was given the signal to carry on the plan.
Meanwhile, Meezan UPaisa is also the world’s first Islamic branchless banking solution. A grand launch ceremony of Meezan UPaisa was held in Karachi. The launching ceremony was attended by the Governor State Bank of Pakistan Ashraf Mahmood Wathra as a senior guest, senior management of the Meezan Bank and Ufone and senior executives of the corporate sector.
With the help of Meezan UPaisa, the customer would be able to send and receive money across the country, pay utility bills and much more from Islamic banking. Both partners have the plan to widen the scope of this service by including more Islamic financial services in near future.
Commenting over this initiative and a need for full-fledged Islamic branchless banking service, President and CEO of Meezan Bank Irfan Siddiqui said, “Meezan Bank has played a vital role in expanding access to Islamic financial services in Pakistan. This initiative is poised to accelerate financial inclusion by adding convenience and greater reliability, deepening the role of Ufone through enhancing the value it provides to its customers and that of Meezan Bank in expanding the reach of Islamic financial services to every citizen of the country. We believe that we are now one step closer to our Vision of establishing ‘Islamic banking as banking of the first choice’ by serving more than 60 million users – thus taking Islamic banking in the country to the next level.”
CEO of Ufone Abdul Aziz also highlighted the importance of initiative and said, ““With this new collaboration we aim to capitalize on both parties’ strengths – Meezan Bank’s expertise in Islamic Banking and UPaisa’s geographic footprint to facilitate customers, making it a win-win situation for all.”
“With UPaisa being at the forefront in providing branchless banking services with its collaborations at various levels and Meezan Bank holding over 50% of the Islamic banking share in Pakistan, this partnership is poised to go a long way in opening new opportunities”, he added.
According to initial information, Meezan UPaisa services will be available in 500 cities of the Pakistan and to enhance the efficiency of the service, over 10,000 points of sales will be arranged in this cities.
The project will be headed by Arshad Majeed on behalf of Meezan Bank and Noman Azhar on behalf of Ufone.
It is worth to mention here that the first branchless banking collaboration of Meezan Bank with Warid Telecom was not proved very fruitful. Later on, both organisations separated their ways. Later on in 2014, Meezan Bank and Ufone entered into a ‘Strategic Partnership for Branchless Banking’. The partnership was then signed by the President and CEO of Meezan Bank Irfan Siddique and President and CEO of Ufone Abdul Aziz.