Easypaisa, Telenor Pakistan’s Mobile Financial Services Division that it established back in 2009, is parting ways with the mobile operator, we have checked.
According to the information made available to ProPakistani, Easypaisa — which was Telenor Pakistan’s brand or product till now — is being transferred to Tameer Bank.
Not to mention, Tameer Bank was fully acquired by Telenor Group (not Telenor Pakistan) a few months ago.
This change is vital in many ways. For instance, now Easypaisa’s balance sheets will be visible under Tameer Bank and not Telenor Pakistan. Similarly, Easypaisa’s reporting and day to day operations will be managed by Tameer Bank and not Telenor Pakistan.
This whole equation means that Easypaisa will have nothing to do with Telenor Pakistan after the restructuring that is still under way.
Ali Chaudhry, the President & CEO of Tameer Bank, will also head Easypaisa and report directly to Telenor Group.
Once done, Easypaisa will have its own digital agency, PR agency and all sorts of vendors that it may need for running day to day operations.
Easypaisa staff, however, may keep using Telenor Pakistan’s office space in some cities at least; but Telenor Pakistan will charge Easypaisa for it, the same way that it does for other sister concerns, such as Telenor LDI for instance.
Telenor Pakistan’s deep integration with Easypaisa will remain intact for now. However, both entities will start charging each other for services that they would obtain down the line.
While we don’t have confirmation, there are murmurs that Tameer Bank will also be renamed to Telenor Bank. This is something that may require regulatory approvals and may take some time before its announced.
Experts say that Easypaisa’s departure from Telenor Pakistan can be looked at in many ways. While it may complicate a lot of things for both the business units, the move will actually help Telenor group in the long run.
Up for Sale?
While its too early to say, we have reliably heard that Alibaba — along with getting ahold of an ecommerce company in Pakistan — is also considering to acquire a payment gateway. If this happens, the separation of Easypaisa with Telenor Pakistan as an independent unit may start making a lot of sense.
While Easypaisa has covered a lot of distance since its launch and has revolutionized payments in Pakistan with introduction of array of commercial services, experts say that more than 98% of revenue potential in Pakistan’s digital payments is still unexplored.
With estimates suggesting that Pakistan’s ecommerce market is set to grow beyond $1 billion within the next few years, Pakistan currently holds no payment gateway that allows under 10 minutes integrations (like it is available elsewhere in the world).
This is the kind of potential that groups like Alibaba would be eyeing and Easypaisa could be a perfect hunt for the purpose. With the latest developments, Easypaisa has prepared itself for any such adventures in next few months.