After we uncovered in July 2011 about initial funding used to establish Easypaisa, it is now learned that Telenor has received another grant, valuing US 6.5 million dollars or Rs. 585 million, for stretching the reach of easypaisa services.
This fund, granted by Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation under its global development program, is said to be used to accelerate take-up and usage of Easypaisa mobile savings account among poor and unbanked customers.
We aren’t sure if Rs. 585 million fund will help the company drop the transactional charges as well (to make the service affordable for the poor) or it will be entirely used to build the infrastructure and to meet Easypaisa’s advertising/awareness campaigns.
As we have noted before, Telenor is making significant amount of revenues from it’s easypaisa services, while on other hands, despite of foreign aid, Easypaisa’s transactional charges are amongst the highest in all kind of money processing charges, locally and globally.
It is interesting to mention here that the fund was granted to Telenor Pakistan in November 2011 but company didn’t make any announcement of it, till now at least.