Karandaaz Digital

Realizing the Potential
of Digital Financial Services

Private Sector Engagements

Karandaaz partners with commercial service providers, private firms, and FinTechs to develop & test digital solutions for new customers.


Financial Inclusion of Women Challenge (FIWC)

Launch of Round 4: 2nd February 2024
Deadline for Submissions: 6th March 2024

The latest round of the Financial Inclusion of Women Challenge (FIWC) is aimed at enabling access to financial services for women through the use of innovative solutions that are customized to their needs and unique preferences while keeping in view the structural constraints that women face in the society.
Follow the link here for more information on past rounds, the latest term sheet and process to apply

WeHub Karandaaz

WeHub Karandaaz champions women entrepreneurs in Pakistan by offering an easy-to-use online platform. The goal of this learning hub is to provide essential financial knowledge and resources for women in business. These financial literacy videos cover banking services, business finance essentials, taxation, compliance, and trade-specific skills, aiming to empower women at every stage of their entrepreneurial journey.

There are fifteen instructional videos available in Urdu that are easily accessible from anywhere at any time. These videos offer learning opportunities to women entrepreneurs, aspiring business owners, and those in the MSME sector. The platform’s localized content and resources are specifically crafted to address the unique challenges faced by women in Pakistan, building on the success of nationwide training to ensure comprehensive access to financial tools and knowledge.

To access WeHub Karandaaz, click here.

Digitizing Cash on Delivery (COD) Payments in E-commerce

Karandaaz Pakistan is pleased to announce its request for proposals to solve the prevailing problem of the use of cash in the downstream e-commerce value chain, under its “Digitizing Cash on Delivery (DCOD)” programme. This intervention in the e-commerce value chain is particularly focused on converting COD (cash on delivery) to digital payments during the delivery process. We aim to support entities that are integrated in the e-commerce value chain and are well-positioned to bring a significant impact in terms of reducing cash-based payments by improving and optimizing the customer payment journey.

Please follow the link to know more.

Digital Financing for Agriculture (DFA) Challenge

Karandaaz Pakistan is thrilled to announce the inaugural Challenge Round for Digital Financing for Agriculture 2023. This groundbreaking initiative features a challenge grant designed to catalyze the development, testing, and support of innovative solutions aimed at revolutionizing access to finance for farmers. The grant will fund ideas and initiatives that address the hurdles faced by smallholder farmers in securing formal credit. These obstacles include high interest rates, collateral challenges, and cumbersome procedures, which often force farmers into the arms of exploitative informal lenders.

The challenge grant specifically targets ideas and solutions that not only enhance access to finance and financial inclusion but also bolster the financial resilience of low-income farmers. This is achieved by aligning innovation and modern technology with the unique needs of this underserved demographic.

Please follow the link to know more.

Adoption and Continuous Improvement

We are thrilled to announce that Karandaaz is initiating the formation of a sub workstream known as the “Adoption Workstream”. The Adoption Workstream has been conceived to address the challenges related to user adoption and engagement through optimization and continuous improvement. In this call for proposals, we invite projects and initiatives that align with our mission to foster financial inclusion among underserved segments. Below, we outline the key project categories for Adoption, providing an opportunity for you to be part of this journey.

Categories of Projects for Adoption and Continuous Improvement:

1. Scaling Successful Startups: If you have successfully navigated the pilot and experimentation phase with Karandaaz through any of its previous grant programs and challenge rounds, we invite you to apply for support in scaling your operations for the hockey stick growth. The Adoption Workstream is keen to identify ventures with promising results and offer growth funding along with strategic support. This category is designed to help Karandaaz partners expand their reach, optimize their operations, and establish vital partnerships for broader impact.

2. Optimizing Pilot-to-Scale Transition: For those who have developed promising innovative solutions and have already achieved the product-market fit, product-channel fit, channel-model fit, and model-market fit, and are now looking to transition to a larger scale, this category offers an opportunity to refine your adoption strategy and execute. The Adoption Workstream will work closely with projects to develop frameworks for efficient resource utilization, replication of successful models, funnel optimizations through robust feedback mechanisms, and data driven approach. If you are committed to continuous improvement and scaling your impact, this category is tailored for you.

3. Enhancing User Adoption and Engagement: User adoption is a central challenge in the digital financial inclusion landscape. A number of factors impact adoption of financial services including lack of awareness, limited access due to limited infrastructure, complexity processes leading to poor user experience, and lack of consumer trust. If you have a strategy geared towards enhancing adoption rates and improving user engagement at a market system level through policy, design, strategic partnerships, infrastructure enhancements, financial literacy initiatives, diagnostic research to uncover the root causes of financial exclusion, leading to massive uptake of digital financial services, then this category is for you.

We invite you to submit your proposal. The proposal can be submitted in a Word document or a power-point covering the following.

If applying in category 1 and 2, your concept note/proposal should detail out the following

  • What is your solution and what is its current uptake
  • How has your product achieved the product market fit, inform the indicators/metrics that confirm that you are ripe for a 10x growth through optimizations and continuous improvements
  • What are the specific optimizations and improvements in your product roadmap to overcome the adoption related challenges to achieve 10x growth
  • How the optimizations and improvements will improve the adoption of digital financial services
  • What is the prospective grant budget required for the optimizations and improvement and how much would you contribute to it
  • What are the key milestones for grant project in terms of development, growth, and adoption rates, and what are the timelines to achieve the milestones

If applying in category 3, your concept note/proposal should detail out the following

  • Context of the proposed intervention that may lead to DFS adoption at a bigger scale through a likely market system level intervention
  • Motivation behind the proposed intervention based on the facts and figures from actual industry research done
  • Proposed approach and methodology for the intervention and how it may potentially lead to biggest systematic impact
  • Expected outputs, outcomes, and impact of the intervention
  • How the grant budget would be spent and what would be the project timelines
  • We invite you to submit your proposal by emailing it to programofficedfs@karandaaz.com.pk, The proposal can be submitted in a Word document or a PowerPoint

Please do mention the respective domain under which you wish to apply for grant in the subject line of your email

Pilot to Scale Grants Programme

Karandaaz Digital has initiated a ‘Pilot to Scale Grants Programme’ with an aim to build models and solutions for the financial inclusion of the unbanked and underbanked population. In addition to empowering those who do not have an account, research suggests that the underbanked population must be targeted with pilots that introduce financial deepening to such segments. The support from Karandaaz will enable private DFS players to test pilots and scale the successful ones and disseminate the learnings for wider use. The programme focuses on the following four categories:

  1. Digital Payments
  2. Sectoral Lens: Digitization of Payments in Value Chains
  3. Identification of product white spaces in DFS – Creation of new financial use-cases on digital channels
  4. New Accounts Acquisition

Private sector DFS providers and innovators can apply for these grants. All such interests will be evaluated based on the following scalability assessment matrices:

  • Is the proposed pilot addressing a major need in the industry?
  • What is the target population impacted?
  • What is the capability of the partner organization?
  • How much capital is needed to scale this experiment/project proposed under the grant programme?
  • Which other private companies will leverage the results?

Details for each domain under the ‘Pilot to Scale Grant Programme’ can be downloaded from the following links:

Please do mention the respective domain under which you wish to apply for grant in the subject line of your email along with a deck of slides or a PDF containing an initial proposal as an attachment and send to programofficedfs@karandaaz.com.pk
Under pilot to scale, three entities are receiving grant support from KRN; Haball, KuickPay, and JS Bank

Women’s Financial Inclusion

Karandaaz aims to reduce the gender gap in financial inclusion by adopting the following three-pronged strategy:

  1. Digitizing payments within women-dominated value chains in order to promote uptake of accounts
  2. Improving financial awareness among women
  3. Deployment of women-centric products and channels

Entities that are working on solutions in any of the above areas should email their proposals to  programofficedfs@karandaaz.com.pk

Proposals shortlisted on the basis of completeness and relevance will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Potential for innovation
  • Impact on women’s inclusion
  • Ability to execute
  • Additionality

Partnerships with Academia

Karandaaz Pakistan proudly introduces the groundbreaking initiative, “Partnership with Academia.” This marks our premier venture into collaboration with the education sector, reinforcing our commitment to nurturing a robust talent pool of future leaders in the rapidly evolving fintech and digital banking industry. Acknowledging the pivotal role of academic institutions in advancing knowledge and innovation, we aim to support them in creating curriculum content and conducting research within the realm of digital financial services.

This program invites collaboration across diverse academic domains, offering grants to facilitate the development of case studies, course content, and various academic initiatives centered on fostering expertise within the digital financial services landscape.

Proposal Solicitation Process

Prospective collaborators are invited to submit proposals via email to programofficedfs@karandaaz.com.pk
All proposals will undergo a thorough review by an evaluation committee. Successful applicants will be recommended for funding based on their alignment with our objectives and assessment against predefined criteria.

Evaluation Criteria

To guide the assessment of proposals, the following criteria have been established:

Ability to Execute: Reviewing an institute’s track record and its capacity to execute projects. This includes assessing previous work, available resources, and the level of leadership commitment.

Research Team and Expertise: Assessing applicants’ qualifications, the diversity of expertise within their research teams, and their ability to leverage partnerships with academic institutions and industry.

Relevance and Impact: Evaluating projects based on their alignment with our program objectives and their potential to generate impactful insights.

Impact on Policy and Practice: Measuring the influence of research findings on policies, practices, and industry decision-making within the DFS sector.

Design Thinking as a Service Programme

Karandaaz Design Thinking as a Service Programme has been launched to support the Digital Financial Service Players who offer their services through mobile and web-based platforms. This programme will facilitate the use of design thinking methodology in developing digital financial products and services that not only address the need of the customer but also create a user experience that leads to stickiness and repeats usage. The programme is to support the DFS industry by promoting the use of Human Centred Design approach in developing or improving their product and service design. Karandaaz intends to work with players who can provide a seamless customer experience of digital financial services. Interested DFSPs (Mobile Money operators/Fintech/Startups) may apply by filling out a form that captures the requirements and scope of work. Karandaaz team will conduct its due diligence of the scope and share the requirements with the panel of partner design firms. The design firms will bid on the assignment, and based on an internal selection criteria, the project would be awarded to selected firm. Upon final selection of the design firm, at-least 50% cost of the project will be borne by the applicant while Karandaaz will bear up to 50% or PKR 1 Million (whichever is lower) cost of the total project value.

For more details and to access the application form, visit: https://karandaaz.com.pk/design-thinking/

Digital Experiments in Partnership with DFS Providers

Given the early stage of Pakistan’s digital financial inclusion market and the strong rivalry between competitors, there is inadequate understanding of the pricing and communication of digital financial products and services.
Karandaaz invites applications in two categories to support businesses in understanding the gaps in the market with respect to the uptake and usage of digital financial services through the A/B testing research methodology. The objective is to support DFSPs in testing out different hypotheses on a real consumer base and compare results of different versions to identify the sweet spot for successful interventions.


Type A

Conduct A/B tests to identify the optimal communications and agent incentive structures for boosting account adoption and usage:

  • Increase in user’s engagement on digital accounts
  • Test of price elasticity on payment transactions by end-users;
  • Channels to be deployed for communication, marketing or sales

Type B

Conduct A/B tests to identify explore ways to improve uptake of DFS among women. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Incentives to be offered
  • Channels to be deployed for communication, marketing or sales

Who can Apply?

The applying firm should have an established customer base or minimum experience of 2 years in the market

  1. Banks, Branchless Banking Players, PSO/PSPs, EMIs, NBFI, MFIs, Fintechs, E-commerce platforms with a fintech play etc.
  2. Should be registered with the relevant regulator (if applicable)
  3. Should have the required licenses (if applicable)

For more information or in case of queries, please email at digital.experiments@karandaaz.com.pk

Ongoing / Completed Experiments:

Currently there are two ongoing experiments; Finca and Creditper

User Interface and Experience

Study: USD 200,000
Karandaaz conducted a user interface and experience (UIUX) study based on human centered design (HCD) principle. The study concluded that mobile financial services delivered through a well-designed smartphone interface have the capability to extend and improve financial access across Pakistan. An intuitive user interface, taking into account the challenges of the less literate, will enable providers to better serve existing customers as well as expand into new market segments. Karandaaz partnered with one of the leading mobile network operators to develop and redesign its mobile money app using an HCD approach.To access the full study, please click here: https://karandaaz.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Design_Toolkit_Final.pdf

FinTech Disrupt Challenge

Grant: USD 460,000
Karandaaz conducts a FinTech Disrupt Challenge in Pakistan to identify and support innovative solutions in the FinTech space. The first round was successfully held in 2016 in partnership with the LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship. The second round was held in May 2017 in partnership with IBA’s Aman Centre for Entrepreneurial Development. The recently concluded third round ran in partnership with FinTech Factory, Pakistan’s only FinTech focused accelerator.

Till date, Karandaaz has provided grant funding to 10 FinTechs including Ricult Pakistan, PublishEx, Paysys Labs, Credit Fix, Unikrew Solutions, Agri-Gate, Invoice Waqalah, Matilda Solutions, Love for Data, and Agri Mart.

Click Here to Download FDC Toolkit


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Non-profit company registered under Section 42 of the Companies Act, 2017