NBP, Ufone Sign Partnership to Build National Payment System

National Bank of Pakistan, Ufone and Ubank, signed an agreement today, to create new synergies between the already established Upaisa Brand and the upcoming digital banking initiatives of NBP. This collaboration is another step of NBP to jointly create the required National Payment System to benefit the people of Pakistan and to facilitate the payments & collections for the Government of Pakistan.

The signing ceremony was attended by the senior management of all the three entities including Syed Ahmed Iqbal Ashraf – President & CEO NBP, Mr. Mudassir H. Khan – Group Chief Commercial & Retail Banking Group NBP, Mr. Azfar Jamal – EVP/Head of Remote Banking & ADC NBP, Mr. Abdul Aziz – President & CEO Ufone, Mr. Asher Yaqub Khan – Chief Commercial Officer Ufone, Mr. Taimur Faiz Cheema – GM Marketing, Ufone and Mr. Arif Sirhindi – President & CEO Ubank.

The managements of the partnering organizations have the belief that the formal financial services, through digital payments, can have a positive impact on a variety of microeconomic indicators, including self-employment business activities, household consumption and wellbeing.To construct on this vision, the right strategy is collaboration between the key players in the market.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Syed Ahmed Iqbal Ashraf CEO & President of NBP said, “The merits of financial inclusion are strongly rooted in empowerment. Access to financial services is a key link between economic opportunity and economic outcome. By empowering individuals and families to cultivate economic opportunities, financial inclusion can be a powerful agent for strong and inclusive growth. Pakistan needs banking and payments to increase reach like communication’s has.Instead of taking the model inherited from bricks-and-mortar banking, we need to invent new distribution models that are dramatically different and lower costs. This collaboration is part of NBP’s strategy to facilitate customers by developing a National Payment Eco-System allowing customers to avail any P2G and G2P services 24/7 through all available Digital Channels”

With this collaboration between one of the largest banks in Pakistan owned by the Government of Pakistan and one of the Pakistan’s leading Telco Operator, the dynamics of the financial services market are sure to reach the next milestone. Under the ambit of this arrangement, multiple services will be leveraged upon including ufone USSD Channel, Agent Network of upaisa and NBP transaction base, to fulfill the needs of banked as well as the unbanked population of Pakistan including facilitation of P2G and G2P transactions.

SEVP/Group Chief C&RBG NBP, Mudassir H. Khan said, “Payments and banking must be available everywhere for people to trust it – so interoperability is key. If solutions don’t become broadly available and interoperable, they will most likely fail to scale. This initiative of NBP to build the required National Payment Eco-system in partnership with Telecom service providers will be catalyst to extend the financial outreach and convenience to every citizen of Pakistan.”

Regarding this collaboration, Mr. Abdul Aziz, President & CEO at Ufone said, “We feel privileged to be able to extend our financial virtual/digital payment solution; UPaisa to NBP; also to play our part in the digitization of the whole ecosystem which would facilitate segments that carry out financial transactions on a daily basis saving time, money and precious resources.”

He added, “Moreover, we would see unbanked segments seeing inclusion due to this new development.”

National Bank being the largest bank of Pakistan is operating with more than 1350 branches across Pakistan. In addition to core services being trustee of public funds, bank has diversified its business portfolio and has been competing market in the debt equity market, corporate investment banking, retail & consumer banking including agricultural and government collections & payments. Now with the asset base of more than PkR. 1.5 trillion and a deposit base of more than Pkr. 1.2 trillion, NBP aims to evolve a National Payment Eco-System to facilitate entire population of country through every possible delivery channel 24/7. Under this initiative, the bank is already in the process of enhancing digital outreach through all available digital channels in the banking.

Ufone the leader in innovation is an Etisalat Group Company with its presence in all the major cities of Pakistan along with a comprehensive coverage across all major towns, villages and tehsil headquarters of the country. The company employs more than 4,780 people and operates with a network of more than 388 franchises and 23 company-owned customer service centers.

UPaisa will also be providing all advanced services including Utility Bill Payment, InterBank Funds Transfer, balance inquiry of NBP account, mini statement of NBP account, through a mobile phone to all NBP customers. All they require is to have Ufone SIM and dial *60# after which they can link their NBP Account with Upaisa account and avail all the innovative services of UPaisa.