Here’s What Ant Financial’s Entry in Pakistan Will Mean for a Common Man!

Pakistan’s economic situation has become better over the past decade with the country’s GDP hitting $304 billion in 2017, up from $170 billion in 2008.

While these growth trends are in line with regional markets — well, marginally lower than neighboring China and India — the size of Pakistan’s GDP is quite insignificant when you compare it with its potential.

A wide range of sectors, including the cottage industry, e-commerce, freelance, small and medium-sized, thrived during the past 10 years without any support from financial institutes.


Ant Financial (Alipay) to Invest $184.5 Million in Telenor Microfinance Bank

Imagine a freelancer who can not open a bank account. Image a woman from a far-flung small town doing matchless embroidery work who has not been able to get payments from international buyers as she has no access to a payment system.

This is going to change now!

And the reason is yesterday’s historic deal between Ant Financial and Telenor Bank.

What is Ant Financial?

For reference, Ant Financial — the company behind AliPay and an affiliate of AliBaba Group — is the world’s largest, most valuable fintech company and directly competes with PayPal.

Valued at around $80 billion, Ant Financial offers an array of financial services ranging from peer to peer payments, online payments, offline payments at stores, loans, wealth management and credit scoring.

To help you understand, AliBaba could never be as big as it is today without AliPay — which was the name of Ant Financial before its rebranding in 2014. The need arose due to the distrust international buyers had of the Chinese vendors. They didn’t want to pay before getting the goods and similarly, Chinese manufacturers didn’t want to ship products before they were paid for the goods.

AliPay arose out of this deadlock and it responded by introducing an Escrow service that resolved the issue. The rest, as they say, is history.

AliPay further helped AliBaba by offering small-scale short and medium-term loans to AliBaba vendors based on their history, helping uplift the Chinese cottage industry.

Thanks to Ant Financial, here’s how cash is now transacted in China:

  • All your funds are stored in a mobile wallet through which you can
    • Pay at any store by scanning a QR code, entering the amount, and pressing the pay button
    • Pay a taxi or utility bills
    • Make online payments
    • Lend money to someone in real time

QR Scanning from mobile for payment

All without involving any cash at all. And more importantly, there are no transaction charges on the transfers for majority of the payments.

What to Expect?

Now imagine Easypaisa offering similar services to Pakistanis. Here’s what you can expect in the coming months:

  • Make payments by just scanning a code (through your smartphone camera)
  • Make payments to Careem and Uber directly from your mobile wallet
  • Pay utility bills by scanning a code on the bill
  • Pay your friend by scanning a QR code on his mobile device
  • Accept payments (through credit cards) on your website
  • Request for small loans with a processing time of just a few seconds
  • Get greater returns on your funds stored in the mobile wallet — as they will be invested in stocks, companies and startups on your behalf
  • Get insurance for yourself and other products from within an app
  • And so much more, all without having a single physical currency note in your pocket!

While the integrations may take some time, the roll-outs are expected to begin in 2018.

Tech and telecom reporter with over 15 years of experience, he works as founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • kafi purani ho gae hay yeh payment kee kahani mobile per. Listening to it for last 10 years.

    • This is extremely sad that clerks of banks and SBP/SECP could not do anything to make payment gateways access possible for freelancers, SMEs in Pakistan.

      USA ,a country which always fears from so called terrorism allow you to open a business even if you are not in US, you can open an account as a visitor and can start your business online in days. Contrary to that all possible ways for businessmen in Pakistan are blocked with efforts of European countries and US. Sadly no government has worked on this to enable freelancers and SMEs to do online business smoothly.

  • I believe this is going to change the payment scenario completely. Been waiting for it…!!!!!!!!

  • The cell phone companies ought to use the method of QR code for loading balance,,, the current method of scratching and typing the 16 or 12 digits,,, is problematic esp for persons with weak eye sight

    • You have made a valid point. Telecos should also launch their vision lenses and Optical frames. that will be a profitable business for them

  • alipay will force vendors to either go with qr or nfc. Ali pay is game changer in next 5 years they will be setting the rules i’m talking by experience.

  • Wym? Will alipay be introduced in Pakistan or will easypaisa start this service?

  • What a trash this article is, totally useless, there is no relevant fact or strategy mentioned in this article that shows what this merger can unearth. Its interesting propakistani works fine as long as it do not start acting as “Experts” and do their “own” analysis.

  • Congrats Ali Pay, Telenor MicroFinance Bank (Easy Paisa) to break the ice of payment system which is without frills. It suits the country, understands the need, and help the consumer with the required procedure, safety/security. The only company in the telecommunication with the know how, and how to manage. Thanks to the proressive outlook.

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