State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has given its green signal to a foreign fintech, OPay, to acquire the payment operations of local fintech company, Finja, ProPakistani has confirmed with officials.
Finja is one of four operators operating its business of e-money wallets for customers and merchants in the designated areas of the country. It was given a commercial license by the banking regulator in 2021.
Before its payment operations, Finja also established its lending business to merchants mainly grocery stores, which is owned and functional under the management of its old owners.
The new operator, OPay, is a one-stop mobile-based platform for payments, transfers, loans, savings, and other essential services for individuals. OPay was founded by Opera Norway AS Group with a footprint in emerging markets across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
The EMI business in Pakistan is witnessing a lukewarm response due to a lack of enabling and conducive environment for digital payments. The competition among fintech operators along with the digital banking services of commercial banks is also making the market saturated for business.
In 2023, two fintech operators including Checkout and Careem Payment Solutions withdrew their license from the central bank. A few fintech operators are also mulling withdrawing their licenses or looking for mergers and acquisition deals with banks or other fintech operators.