National Fintech Lab is an Accelerator to Help Fintech Startups in Pakistan

The National Fintech Lab accelerator program is a collaboration between National Bank of Pakistan, Trioca Ventures and Fern Software Singapore. NFL has been designed to provide fintech startups in Pakistan with the support and mentoring they need to develop disruptive solutions that solve real-world problems in effective financial services delivery.

A curated core banking platform “sandbox” is an essential requirement for innovative fintechs to be able to develop and to demonstrate working proof-of-concepts for banks and microfinance institutions – this enables them to experiment with real products and real data, without needing to actually link directly to financial institutions’ legacy systems.

Fern is therefore providing shortlisted fintechs with free-of-charge access to a cloud implementation of Abacus, its agile core banking platform that has been designed from the ground up for inclusive financial institutions and is in use in 40+ countries around the world. To help the fintechs succeed in their aims, they are also providing full access to their API suite, supporting documentation and virtual individual support.

The visionary behind this program, Mr. Omer J. Ghani CEO Trioca Ventures, believes that “NFL program can play a catalytic role in helping State Bank of Pakistan achieve their financial inclusion agenda and transform the lives of millions of people who struggle to access basis necessities of life due to lack of access to finance.”

“We partnered with National Bank as it has a national outreach along with a development agenda. Therefor transforming National Bank can have a huge multiplier effect in helping Government of Pakistan in achieving its poverty reduction targets,” said Mr. Ghani.

Fern believes that this collaboration will enable financial institutions in Pakistan to see and try first-hand the benefit that agile technology solutions can bring to them – moving beyond their existing inflexible and outdated platforms and exploring new ways of launching customer-centric financial products while increasing their outreach and cost-effectiveness. The World Bank estimates that only 21 percent of the Pakistani population is financially included, and it is Fern’s belief that by “joining the dots” between inclusive financial institutions and the innovative technologies that they need, huge increases in outreach and uptake of responsible financial services, resulting in positive social impact for the people of Pakistan, can be a reality.

Debbie Watkins, Managing Director Fern Software further added: “Having visited Pakistan many times in recent years, I am keenly aware of the potential for achieving lasting positive social impact by increasing financial inclusion, and of the currently under-recognised talent in the technology workforce. I was therefore very excited by the potential of the FinTech Accelerator program designed by Trioco Ventures, and delighted to have been invited to be a key partner in this program.”

National Bank of Pakistan which is going through a process of transformation under the dynamic leadership of Mr. Arif Usmani, recently completed the phase 1 & 2 of their digitization program that was also partially supported by Karandaaz. “These are exciting times for National Bank of Pakistan and we are extremely excited to partner with Trioca Ventures and Fern Software to support us in improving our processes and delivery channels to improve our customers experience across a range of used cases and ultimately NBP’s performance,” added Mr. Arif Usman, President National Bank of Pakistan.

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