According to the official statement issued to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Systems Limited announced that its subsidiary E-Processing Systems BV has received an investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. However, the company did not reveal the investment figures.
The foundation’s program-related investment will support OneLoad’s efforts to bring more rural merchants into a digital ecosystem, enable increased digital transaction usage among low-income individuals, and provide additional financial services to the under-banked population.
The program-related investment is being made through its $2.5 billion Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) that aims to stimulate private sector-driven innovation, encourage market-driven efficiencies, and attract external capital to priority global health and development initiatives that improve the health and wellbeing of underserved people around the world.
Any financial returns generated by the SIF are re-invested in the Gates’ foundation’s philanthropic programs. This program-related investment is the first that the SIF has made in a company that operates primarily in Pakistan. The funding provided by the foundation follows an equity investment by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2020.
E-Processing Systems owns and operates OneLoad — Pakistan’s leading micro retailer digitization and payment platform that is used by over 50,000 small shops across Pakistan.
OneLoad is one of the largest mass-market financial access platforms in the country that enables its retailers to deliver telecom, digital payments, and banking services to over seven million unbanked customers each month. The company also received in-principle approval from the State Bank of Pakistan to operate as an Electronic Money Institution.
The founder and CEO of OneLoad, Muhammad Yar Hiraj, said, “We are delighted to receive the funding from the Gates Foundation. Oneload’s vision is to fully digitize supplier payment settlements and digital payment acceptance for micro-retailers. We appreciate the support of the foundation to further our mission of financial access and inclusion for the informal and unbanked retailers and consumers in Pakistan”.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is owned by Bill Gates, and it works for sustainable projects to end poverty globally through initiatives in health, education, and financial inclusion.