Tariq Gulzar, CFO, Warid Telecom (2R) and Faiq Sadiq, Head of Payment Services, HBL (3R) signing the agreement. Younis Iqbal Sheikh, CCO, Warid Telecom (First right in front row) and Azfar Jamal, Head of Branchless banking, HBL (First from left in front row), along with high-ups of Warid and HBL also seen in the picture.
Habib Bank Limited and Warid Telecom signed an agreement today for a strategic alliance whereby Warid Telecom will provide Habib Bank Limited with access to Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), enabling ‘HBL Express’ (Habib Bank Limited’s branchless banking project) to conduct financial transactions.
Telecom companies are uniquely placed in the branchless banking eco-system since they have the required technology and resources to enhance the growth and uptake of this burgeoning industry.
This partnership will allow HBL Express to expand its branchless banking footprint in Pakistan while providing peace of mind to its consumers since all financial transactions carried out will be completely safe and secure. The provision of USSD services is the first step in this alliance which will provide financial and commercial benefit to both organisations in the coming future.
The agreement was signed at Warid Telecom’s Head Office in Lahore between Mr. Tariq Gulzar, Chief Financial Officer, Warid Telecom and Mr. Faiq Sadiq, Head of Payment Services, HBL.
The ceremony was also attended by senior executives from both organisations, including Mr. Younas Iqbal Sheikh, Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Suhail Jan, VP Sales & Distribution, Mr. Nauman Fakhar, VP Customer Services and Mr. Adnan Anjum, Director Marketing Strategy and Pricing from Warid Telecom. Mr. Azfar Jamal, Head of Branchless Banking and Mr. Ghanzfar Ali Khan, Head of Sales Branchless Banking from HBL.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Gulzar said, “We are proud to be a strategic partner in HBL’s efforts to enhance financial inclusion in Pakistan and consider this a very important step in providing banking services to the unbanked.”
Mr. Faiq Sadiq added, “HBL’s strategic alliance with Warid Telecom will accelerate the adoption of Branchless Banking Services in Pakistan and enable the Bank to offer mobile wallets to the unbanked.”