Global Finance magazine has revealed The Innovators in Islamic Finance for 2016. The list recognizes Meezan Bank for launching the world’s first Islamic variant of Branchless Banking in Pakistan.
Launched last year, Meezan Upaisa – a collaborative effort by Meezan Bank and Ufone, provides financial solutions to the unbanked population of the country.
This award was given under the category of “Process Innovation” to the bank for its critical focus on accelerating financial inclusion in Pakistan through innovation of product, service and technology.
In November 2015, Meezan Bank in collaboration with Ufone launched commercial Islamic Banking under the name of Meezan Upaisa at 10,000 points of sales that spanned 500 cities / districts / tehsils.
About Islamic Branchless Banking
Islamic banking branchless banking can not only promote micro-financing and agriculture financing to small businessmen, but it also encourages savings habit in general public, based on profit and loss sharing model.
According to a study of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) “Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Islamic Banking in Pakistan (KAP)”, an overwhelming demand is present for Islamic banking in the country that is evenly distributed amongst rural and urban areas.
The overall demand for Islamic banking is higher at 95 percent amongst household compared to businesses which stand at 73 percent. In 26 districts out of 41 districts covered by the survey for retail, respondents from KPK, Northern Punjab and Southern Sindh exhibited more than 95% demand for Islamic banking.
Branchless Banking will help in increasing the penetration of Islamic Banking across the country as merely 29% Pakistanis claim to have heard and understood the meaning of the term ‘Islamic Banking’ whereas an equal proportion of Pakistanis claim to have not heard about Islamic Banking at all, according to the recent Gallup Survey in collaboration with State Bank of Pakistan.
About Global Finance’s Innovators 2016
The Innovators 2016 – Islamic Finance list will be published in Global Finance’s The Innovators Special Issue in June 2016. In addition to Islamic Finance, Global Finance’s editors will recognize innovation in Corporate Finance, Transaction Services, Trade Finance and Foreign Exchange.
This is the publication’s first annual listing of sharia-compliant financial institutions and service providers that have fully recognized the critical importance of product and service innovation together with technology enhancement and investment.
All selections were made by the editorial board of Global Finance. The board considered nominations and submissions, key research and the input of experts in evaluating those banks and service providers that stand out for their transformative products and solutions.
Names and details of different companies recognized by Global Finance magazine can be viewed here.