Zong, in collaboration with Askari Bank, has stepped into branchless banking, also commonly known as mobile banking, told us sources close to the development.
According to details we have got so far, Zong is going to bring a full-fledged branchless banking solution, to become second telecom operator (after Telenor) to offer a mobile banking solution of this scale and third such mobile banking implementation (after Easypaisa and UBL Omni) in the country.
Sources further confirmed us that Zong yesterday took the first step towards the solution by starting a pilot project. We are told that this pilot project would be followed by a full scale nationwide commercial launch in around two months.
As per sources, the pilot project will include most of the branchless banking products that Zong is going to offer, in addition to some other products such as salary disbursements.
It merits mentioning here that Askari Bank, backed by the Army Welfare Trust, was awarded a branchless banking license few months ago.
It is likely that Zong’s mobile banking would become ultimate disbursement solution for Askari Bank salary and pension disbursements to army men, pensioners and other related account holders, who will be able to completely control their bank accounts through mobile phones.
In the past we have seen Telenor acquiring Tameer MicroFinance Bank, Mobilink acquiring Waseela MicroFinance Bank and Ufone acquiring Rozgar MicroFinance Bank, this would be a first implementation of its kind where a Telecom Operator and a Commercial Bank would provide Branchless Banking services under a relationship where none of the parties has any shares or controlling interest in each other.
The active involvement of China Mobile, ZONG’s parent company, united with the standing of Askari Bank points towards a service that should ideally be much unique with an added level of acceptance and trust amongst the masses.