SadaPay, Mastercard collaborate to simplify digital payments in Pakistan

LAHORE: SadaPay has announced a new exclusive partnership with Mastercard to equip SadaPay wallet holders with Mastercard debit cards that can be used locally and internationally on e-commerce, point of sale (POS) and ATMs.

Pakistan is the 5th most populous country in the world, where 87 per cent of 220 million people remain unbanked, but about 1 million smartphones are coming online every month.

SadaPay will enable customers to conduct seamless, faster and safer domestic and cross-border transactions by using SadaPay e-wallets.

SadaPay is a new entrant in the Pakistani market that has recently obtained an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license from the State Bank of Pakistan. SadaPay will not only utilise Mastercard’s innovative capabilities for card issuance, but also use them as a payment processing platform, thereby reinforcing Mastercard’s position as the go-to player in digital payments in the region. This close integration will ensure best-in-class payments experience for SadaPay users.

Furthermore, SadaPay is expected to issue over three million cards over the next five years, which will help serve a large segment of the country’s unbanked and underbanked population, with a special focus on solving payment pain points for freelancers and the self-employed, therefore helping to encourage financial inclusion and improve the country’s economic outlook.

Brandon Timinsky, the founder and CEO of SadaPay said: “We are launching SadaPay with a commitment to solve deep rooted problems in the payment ecosystem especially for freelancers, who contribute immensely to Pakistan. We are very thankful to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for not only being so forward-thinking with their issuance of the EMI regulations, but also for being extremely welcoming to our progressive ideas to push financial inclusion.

This open-minded attitude and continued collaboration of SBP with the incoming fintechs will go a long way in facilitating new and innovative payment mechanisms to be setup in Pakistan. Additionally, having a staple institution like the Bank of Punjab as our primary banking partner will help instill consumer confidence as we roll out innovative, digital-first products and services.”

Khalid Elgibali, the Division President of Middle East and North Africa Mastercard, said: “Pakistan is a rapidly evolving market, which currently houses one of the largest population of young people in the South Asian region, and we know that they’re increasingly looking for more tech-savvy and advanced digital payment options that meet their everyday needs. Our exclusive partnership with SadaPay showcases our commitment to enhancing the country’s digital payments infrastructure and to paving the way to a more inclusive society that serves a much wider array of consumer segments. By bringing Mastercard’s pioneering and innovative digital payment solutions to Pakistan, we hope to expedite the adoption of cashless payments in the region and empower greater financial independence for all.”

A SadaPay account can be opened from any smart phone in minutes with a selfie and a picture of the user’s National Identity (CNIC) card. There are no monthly fees, no transaction fees, and account holders are eligible for three free withdrawals per month from any ATM across Pakistan.

Interbank transfers under Rs10,000 to any institution in Pakistan are processed instantly and completely free. Additionally, SadaPay will also support cash-in from tens of thousands of partner retail agents across the country.

Pakistan is currently the world’s 4th largest freelancing economy in terms of population and yet a huge fraction of these freelancers is underserved, without many options to receive foreign payments. With SadaPay, freelancers would also be able to open a basic merchant account and use their wallets to receive international credit card payments directly to their wallets.

Moreover, SadaPay users will be able to receive international remittances from 45 countries using services like Payoneer, Transferwise, Western Union, Moneygram, Remitly and many more. They can also withdraw their earnings from the top freelancing platforms via bank transfers.

The SadaPay debit card can be used for in-store or online purchases (local and international), all of which can be tracked conveniently using the app and via instant transaction notifications.

Users may further lock or unlock their card at any time if lost, stolen or misplaced. Over time – through partnerships with best-in-class providers – SadaPay plans to introduce specialised credit, investment, insurance and savings products.

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