Karachi-Based Fintech ‘Safepay’ Gets SBP’s Pilot Approval, Goes Live with Visa’s Cybersource

Karachi-based fintech Safepay is going live with Cybersource (a product of payments giant Visa) to bring Pakistani merchants new ways to enable their customers to pay them online easily.

Safepay is a payment service provider that has received pilot approval from the State Bank of Pakistan and has been active in the market since 2019.

Safepay’s core offering to a merchant is a one-window solution that allows customers to pay online through the merchant’s website using their bank account, mobile wallet and now Visa or Mastercard-backed card.

Through card acceptance, Pakistani merchants can receive payments from their local and international customers.

This is supported by a market-leading digital onboarding experience, easy-to-use technical integrations, focused customer support, and a robust reporting dashboard that lets both small and large businesses track their payments.

Safepay is the first Pakistani fintech to have graduated from the prestigious US startup accelerator program Y Combinator and has recently closed another round of funding.

The latest funding enables Safepay to double down on the groundwork made in building a world-class team, operations, and partnerships such as this one with Cybersource.

“With existing investors such as Stripe (the leading global payments company) and Fatima Gobi Ventures and now welcoming our new investors to our family such as i2i Ventures, we’re very excited to see how we can help merchants grow their businesses with our new offerings,” said Ziyad Parekh, co-founder of Safepay.

“We have a number of well-known merchants on our waitlist and are ready to test our systems during our pilot with them. Our partnership with Visa will enable us to work closely together and build innovative solutions that adapt to the growing needs of our customers,” he added.

Speaking about Visa’s collaboration with Safepay, Leila Serhan, Visa’s Group Country Manager and Senior Vice President for North Africa, Levant, and Pakistan, said, “Today, consumers are increasingly embracing digital commerce, making it critical for businesses of all sizes to be proactive with fraud management, while ensuring their customers’ expectations are met.”

“At Visa, we are committed to introducing solutions that offer multiple benefits to merchants and provide customers with a frictionless, secure, and convenient payment solution. Our collaboration with Safepay, the proud winners of the VEI Audience Favorite 2021, allows us to ensure that we provide merchants in Pakistan with access to high-quality security solutions that include fraud management, payment acceptance, and security.”

“Cybersource is a very powerful tool and we are excited to have built on top of this to release functionality like subscription payments which are severely lacking in the market,” says Co-Founder Raza Naqvi.

The pilot approval has been granted based on Safepay fulfilling the State Bank of Pakistan’s stringent criteria. The final stage is a commercial license, which is subject to SBP’s satisfactory assessment of pilot operations. The pilot approval allows Safepay to proceed with onboarding merchants and scale its operations.’

Iman Urooj, Chief Business Officer at Safepay, said, “Everyday at Safepay, we are inspired by the incredible stories we hear from merchants across Pakistan. With our Pilot approval, we get to scale the number of merchants we have, we’re only just getting started and are excited for the journey ahead!”

Safepay was one of the winners in the Visa Everywhere Initiative in 2021 – a global innovation program and competition for startups and fintech companies – held for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA).

Receiving the most votes from the audience when it was streamed live on TechCrunch, Safepay won the “Audience Favorite” award.

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