Finja gets SECP approval to launch P2P lending platform in its regulatory sandbox

ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has granted approval for launch of a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending Platform under the first cohort of Regulatory Sandbox to support and encourage Fintech revolution in the country.

P2P lending is an innovative alternative digital platform that connects borrowers with individual lenders, who come together to meet the borrowers’ loan requirements. The P2P lending helps the borrowers give out short-term loans that enable the SMEs to scale up their business, eventually qualifying them to take bigger bank loans.

Sources disclosed to Profit that the approval for the launch has been granted to Finja, a venture capital backed fintech focused on digital lending to SMEs and salaried professionals.

“This approval for testing and experimentation of a P2P Lending Platform by SECP is attributed towards development of an ecosystem for SME financing to achieve higher growth prospects and to create new employment and business opportunities,” a statement issued by the commission read.

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During the testing/experimentation stage, the P2P lending platform shall operate within pre-defined parameters and is subject to certain terms and conditions. Furthermore, specific eligibility criteria shall also apply on selection of each lender/borrower on the platform.

These terms and conditions have been imposed to address the inherent risks involved in the operation of such platforms in the absence of a regulatory framework. However, these terms and conditions shall be reconsidered parallel to the results of the experimentation stage of the subject P2P Lending Platform. This will help the SECP devise the much needed enabling regulatory framework.

The SECP regulatory sandbox is the framework to accommodate provision of financial services that leverage new technologies. It allows FinTech firms to test their services and facilitate adoption of new technology in a live environment within the limited, well-defined scope.

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Taimoor Hassan
The author is a staff member and can be reached at [email protected]

2 COMMENTS

  1. While individual lending mainly to entrepreneurs is a possibility through a platform, I am not sure if a SME financing portal will work because the main issue will be how can FINJA control repayments? What will be the recourse in-case of defaults?

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