As part of the efforts to enhance the digital banking system of Pakistan, Dubai’s Mashreq Bank has announced that they have acquired a digital banking license under the Digital Regulator Framework issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). This new development will open up fresh digital finance capabilities in the banking sector of Pakistan and also complement the related customer-centric services of SBP.
Mashreq bank’s endeavor will be kickstarted by employing a set of engineers and bankers who have adept experience in dealing with an international customer base as well as proven Neo banking capabilities.
promote the nation’s financial inclusion and the digital landscape
They will also be competent to handle world-class technologies and will be part of a group that will tend to the concerns and queries of the banking customers in Pakistan. For the UAE-based private bank, Pakistan was always considered a resourceful market, and investing in the Pak economy would yield immense benefits as the digital banking sector is at its growing stage.
Ahmed Abdelaal, Group Chief Executive Officer of Mashreq Bank was ecstatic in announcing their entry into Pakistan’s digital finance landscape. He noted that it is a very important moment for Mashreq as they expect to be a forerunner in digital banking solutions and it will greatly contribute to the global expansion roadmap of the bank.
The innovations and experience that Mashreq aims to bring into the Pakistan economy shall be of great value as its services will act as a catalyst in the financial sector. Abdelaal also believes that they can make use of the prudent financial infrastructure of Pakistan to help deliver a hassle-free customer-centric experience through the products and services offered by Mashreq.
The Dubai-based private bank hopes to understand the customer needs of the Pakistani population in the initial phase of its development and later on add specific services to meet the requirements of the different sections of people in the urban and rural areas.
Pakistan has an untapped potential in the banking sector with a whopping 100 million adults not owning a bank account and eighty-two percent of women without access to any sort of financial services.
The nation has the third largest unbanked population in the world who are not exposed to any sort of banking services. The World Bank estimated that the major population of Pakistan consists of adults in the age group of 15 to 33 years and this demographic is an attractive proposition for private banks to invest their resources in the country.
Mashreq Bank with its years of experience in the UAE banking sector and advanced digital banking services has a good advantage by its decision to invest in Pakistan’s economy. They have also created a professional collaboration with the State Bank of Pakistan, which is one of the major banks in Pakistan with a huge customer base across the nation.
Fernando Morillo, group head of the retail bank at Mashreq observed that the Digital Pakistan Initiative goes hand in hand with the service strategies of Mashreq. The bank expects to extend its services to the rural areas of Pakistan and untapped lender markets where it hopes to increase economic activity. Morillo also applauded the work initiated by SBP in the area of digital banking which has led to an overall boom in the digital banking sector.
Mashreq hopes to build upon this foundation by SBP and help create a digital ecosystem that will serve all the banking and financial needs of the country. This model shall include the formation of various infrastructural and institutional frameworks that will aid in the fast execution of innovative banking services.
Mashreq would provide small-scale loans to businesses and individuals especially women and young entrepreneurs. They will also invest in rural infrastructures like microfinance establishments through which it will be able to serve the needs of the rural population throughout Pakistan. These measures will help solidify the market share of Mashreq in the Pakistani economy and create a clear-cut roadmap for progressive interventions in Pakistan’s financial sector for years to come.
The Pakistan investment plan of Mashreq is part of its global expansion strategy as the private lender is making its presence felt in different parts of the world. It opened a representative office in Shanghai, China back in 2021 as part of a business strategy to make its presence felt in the Chinese economy.
Even with the risk of a global recession, Mashreq has been on the profitable side making steady progress in its growth and planning further investment programs for the future of the bank. As part of the sustainability programs of the UAE, the bank has made considerable progress in its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices too.
They are also part of the United Nations Global Compact initiative, which is a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation, and disclosure of innovative and responsible entrepreneurial practices at a global level.