Karandaaz Digital is working with apex institutions like State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, National Savings, National Bank of Pakistan, and others to develop national digital platforms which shall enable digital inclusion of the unbanked population.
Grant: USD 16 Million
Karandaaz supported the creation of an instant payment system ‘Raast” at the State Bank of Pakistan. This system will enable low-cost digital transactions between mobile wallets of various financial service providers, allowing interoperability. The system will not only promote the financial deepening of the already financially included but also bring the unbanked and excluded into the formal fold. Raast will be at the center of the digital payment ecosystem in Pakistan and will connect merchants, businesses and SMEs, and consumers to banks, microfinance banks, fintechs, payment service operators and providers, and government entities. This connection, that is currently missing, will be possible through the internet, phones, mobiles, and agents now that a central payments gateway to make high-volume low-value digital payments possible has been put in place. Deployment of this nationwide payment system has been developed on the level one principles, an initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information, visit here.
Karandaaz is helping the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) digitalize its key operations. In the first phase of this process, a digital Secured Transactions Registry (STR), governed by The Financial Institutions (Secured Transactions) Act, 2016 has been launched. The STR is an electronic database in which financial institutions can record charges or security interests created by unincorporated entities or individuals on their movable assets. Movable assets include receivables, intellectual property, inventory, agricultural produce, petroleum or minerals, motor vehicles, etc. A digitalized STR will open up new avenues for small and medium enterprises and agriculture sector borrowers to secure credit from financial institutions while offering greater transparency and visibility around recorded charges or security interests to financial institutions.
Grant: USD 1.2 Million
National Bank of Pakistan collects and disburses around PKR 8 trillion per annum under its G2P and P2G portfolio. Due to the manual input and cash handling mechanisms, NBP incurs considerably large costs for these transactions which has implications for the national exchequer.
Karandaaz supported NBP to develop a comprehensive digital strategy to digitize these payment flows during the first phase of the project. In the second phase, Karandaaz assisted NBP to develop a platform based on an open API approach to host government transactions by giving open access to all the digital channels of NBP partner banks and telecom companies. As a result, a major chunk of G2P/P2G schemes have been integrated on the live platform. Its uptake in the coming years is expected to enhance efficiency for the convenience of the public in general, and NBP customers in particular and accelerate the adoption and usage of mobile wallets by citizens.
Grant: USD 2.58 Million
The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) is an attached department of the Finance Division, with a vision to “promote and inculcate the value of thrift for mobilization of savings” and a mission to “be the preferred Institution for small savers to facilitate the objective of financial inclusion”. Karandaaz has been engaged with CDNS to provide technical support to enable wider access to savings accounts through building alternate delivery channels focused on excluded populations, especially women and the unbanked. A project management office has been established at CDNS to support this digitization effort.
Grant: USD 0.6 million
Karandaaz supported BISP in the development of an Information Technology (IT) & Information Security (IS) Strategy and Implementation Roadmap based on a business need assessment. The intervention resulted in a detailed implementable roadmap for modernizing the IT infrastructure and systems to ultimately achieve the BISP business objectives with efficiency. BISP currently runs multiple G2P programs that include both Conditional and Un-Conditional Cash Transfers (UCT). Digitization of social protection programs can significantly reduce the efforts required in processing digital payments and bring in efficiency in monitoring, evaluation and reporting. If major social protection programs are digitized and designed to work better for low-income women, they lead to economic empowerment of women and they are able to make independent decisions about investments. Digitization of BISP will directly result in greater digital financial inclusion of women and will also give Karandaaz the opportunity to conduct research on women economic empowerment.
Grant: PKR 293 million
Karandaaz is supporting Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) in the provisioning of a Loan Management System (LMS) to address the needs of Microfinance Providers (MFPs) and digitize the complete process from loan initiation to disbursement and payment. The project will also support in putting in place a shared middleware capable of real-time integration with the MFPs through a many-to-many model. The intervention will help set up a Hosted Hardware and Tier III Data Center and Disaster Site managed by PTCL to contribute to cost reduction of MFPs that currently run separate data centers. Furthermore, the project will help build capacity of MFPs in terms of using the services of the platform. The trainings for MFPs will be organized in collaboration with the technology partners. This would ensure that technological and operational changes are absorbed by the members smoothly and they are able to use the platform to their advantage.
Grant: USD 200,000
The Agricultural Department of the Government of Punjab plans to disburse PKR 70 billion in agriculture loans to 500,000 farmers over a period of five years by using digital mediums. This will allow the farming community to receive interest free loans via mobile wallets, ensuring end user convenience. Karandaaz provided technical assistance to the Agricultural Department to identify and ascertain the best technical partner to implement the project. With Karandaaz assistance, improvements to the service design have been implemented and the development of mobile apps designed especially for the farmers is in the final stages of completion. Karandaaz has extended its support to develop a strategy to institutionalize the Farmers’ Program within the Agricultural Department and is providing operational support to the Department in the interim.
Grant: USD 90,000
Karandaaz provided technical assistance to Pakistan Post for digitizing its money order service. This will help Pakistan Post in building new business opportunities, improving service penetration and providing efficient, transparent and convenient services to its customers.