In 2009, Telenor Pakistan partnered with Tameer Micro Finance Bank to introduce branchless banking for the first time in Pakistan.
Opening a bank account can be a tedious process, and using conventional bank services is not always efficient or practical. Easypaisa, however, makes it easy and secure for ordinary Pakistanis to pay bills, transfer money and even open a mobile bank account without having to cue up at the bank at inconvenient opening hours. Now, Telenor and Tameer Bank have also introduced the opportunity to earn interest on savings by using the mobile phone.
In Pakistan, any person can use easypaisa services by visiting their nearest easypaisa authorized shop. Easypaisa shops are present at over 22,000 outlets in more than 750 cities and towns in the country. The shops are open around the clock. More than 5 million unique users use Easypaisa services every month. Around 117 million transactions worth over Rs. 261 billion have been carried out through Easypaisa since launch.
Sending money in Pakistan has been extremely difficult. One needs to observe bank timings, lengthy paperwork and queues at the counter.
If a person wants to send his monthly salary home to his family from urban cities to rural villages, it’s easily done with Money Transfer from easypaisa. Mr. Waqar Mehmood, an office clerk living and working in Islamabad, transfers money to his family every month:
“Every month I need to send money back home to my family for their monthly expenses. Easypaisa has made sending money extremely easy, secure and convenient. Now my wife doesn’t have to travel to the bank in the city, she can easily collect the money from the nearby easypaisa shop.”
If a customer wants to pay a utility bill he or she simply hands over the bill and the payment to the shopkeeper, who immediately processes the bill and an SMS receipt is sent to the customer’s mobile. The whole process takes less than a minute.
Mobile bank account
Mobile Accounts are bank accounts on a mobie phone. Account registration takes less than three minutes at any easypaisa shop and once registered, users can go to any of the thousands of easypaisa shops in Pakistan to deposit or withdraw cash from their easypaisa Mobile Account. They can also pay bills, transfer money, view checking account balance and the last five transactions, manage their pin codes and more. Easypaisa Mobile Bank Account is only available for Telenor Pakistan subscribers and operated through a simple USSD code on the phone.
In April 2013, the service Khushaal Munafa was introduced. This is the first mobile money saving product in Pakistan. Khushaal Munafa will focus on micro savings, promote savings and reduce vulnerability of low income families. This represents a major step forward for the rural population of Pakistan which previously used cash and relied on more traditional ways of saving. The savings product is available to both existing and new mobile account customers.
Considering that 89 % of the adult population in Pakistan has no bank account and 62 % use mobile phone services, easypaisa aims to provide financial inclusion for the urban as well as the rural population.
“Easypaisa allows users across the country to access convenient and secure financial services. In an environment where only 12 % of the adult population is formally served with financial services, easypaisa provides tremendous financial empowerment,” says Roar Bjærum, Head of easypaisa Telenor Pakistan.
A study conducted by Boston Consulting Group commissioned Telenor Group indicates that mobile financial services may increase financial inclusion in Pakistan by 20%, and lead to an increase in GDP of up to 3 % by 2020.
- Telenor Pakistan and Tameer Microfinance Bank have together built one of the most successful Mobile Money services in the world (GSMA; Mobile Money for the Unbanked, Annual Report 2011).
- Recognized as the ‘model for the future’ by CNN in 2009 for the unique set-up between Telenor and Tameer (Bank-led model).
- Within a year of launch, Easypaisa won the award for ‘Best Mobile Money Transfer Entrant of the Year’ at the world’s first Mobile Money Transfer (MMT) Awards 2010.