Competing telecom operators integrate mobile financial platforms

Jazz, Telenor collaborate to ensure reliable, border-less services to customers

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ISLAMABAD: Jazz and Telenor, two of the biggest mobile telecommunication service providers in Pakistan, have joined hands with each other’s microfinance banks to facilitate their respective customers.

As per details, Jazz has partnered with Telenor Microfinance Bank while Telenor Pakistan has partnered with JazzCash keeping in view recent developments in the digital ecosystem and to ensure the provision of services for more fluid customer experiences.

According to a joint press release issued in this regard on Tuesday, “The partnership’s aim is to enable a digital ecosystem for consumers to enhance their ability to manage financial and mobile communications needs by providing reliable, border-less services.”

Following this direct integration among the entities, the Easypaisa App could be used to purchase Jazz airtime while JazzCash mobile application could be used to purchase Telenor Pakistan’s bundles.

“Jazz bundles will also be available on the Easypaisa App in the future.”

This is a first of its kind deal between the two players and is a welcome development, given that the digital world is moving forward at a rapid pace and there is a need to leverage digital channels to make it as easy as possible for customers to choose what service they should use.

Jazz Chief Operating Officer Asif Aziz said, “Our priority is to promote consumer choice and improve access to high-quality digital financial services, particularly for underserved households. This partnership with Easypaisa is a vital step towards this mandate of ours. Collaborating with a competing mobile payments provider shows our willingness to build a border-less payments ecosystem, which shall help build a more open, interoperable payments system in the future.”

Speaking on the development, Telenor Pakistan Marketing Director Umair Mohsin said, “We always have customers at the core of our business and our priority is to bring convenience and feasibility to them at their fingertips. Through this partnership with JazzCash, we are enhancing the user experience to be more inclusive of what our industry has to offer while providing a wider gateway towards financial inclusion. In this era of digitalization, we are reducing boundaries and enabling our customers through integrated touchpoints.”

Khurram Malik, Head of Easypaisa commented on the partnership, “Easypaisa is transforming the way users perform financial transactions. We aim to digitize user experience by building a digital ecosystem that allows them to enjoy convenient payment options. This partnership with Jazz is another step in that direction. We will continue to bring more brands and service providers under the Easypaisa umbrella to create diverse opportunities as well as provide ease to consumers”.

The deal between two competing mobile operators and financial services provides an insight into the benefits that technology offers. Such alliances and interoperability allow these two players to deliver on many of their promises, including enhanced efficiencies and better customer experience.

As per PTA indicators, Jazz holds 36.55pc of telecommunication market share followed by Telenor Pakistan with 27.68pc. EasyPaisa was launched in partenrship with Tameer Microfinance Bank Limited in 2009, while JazzCash came into formation in 2012 in partnership with Mobilink Microfinance Bank. As per a newsletter issued by the State Bank of Pakistan at the close of 2018, the two branchless banking services were competing head-to-head, with Mobilink at approximately 47pc and Telenor at 41pc share of active accounts.

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