State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has granted Careem Pay with an In-Principle-Approval (IPA) for an Electronic Money Institution license (EMI). Careem has launched Careem Pay, its fintech affiliate, in Pakistan as an independent entity which plans to invest $50 million to leapfrog the fintech ecosystem in Pakistan. It will be led by Noman Khurshid as its General Manager. This paves the way for Careem Pay to bring convenient and accessible financial services to 9+ million Customers, 800,000 Captains and 3000+ merchants both on and beyond the Careem App, subject to SBP final approval.
Once Careem Pay achieves operational readiness from SBP, it will offer services ranging from bill payments including utilities, government and education fees, peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer and wallet cash-outs. In subsequent phases and subject to approvals from SBP, Careem Pay aims to provide cards, inward international remittance services as well as services that will enable Customers and merchants to make and accept online or offline payments. This adds to the existing services available through Careem Pay which supports payment across all Careem services including ride-hailing and food delivery, as well as P2P credit transfer and mobile top-ups within the app.
Mudassir Sheikha, CEO and Co-founder of Careem said, “Careem Pay aims to simplify and improve lives by making everyday payments easier and more accessible for our Customers, Captains and merchants. We are thankful to the SBP for trusting us with an IPA for the EMI license which gives us an immense opportunity to empower people by delivering innovative payment experiences. With approximately 30% of the total population and 18% of women banked in Pakistan, we see this as an enormous opportunity to leapfrog cash payments into digital transactions. Chalo ‘Careem Pay’!”
Noman Kurshid, GM Pakistan, Careem Pay added, “Careem is uniquely positioned to tap into the digital financial opportunity in Pakistan. With a massive Customer, Captain and merchant base across the country, conducting high frequency transactions on our platform, we understand the pain points and are well placed to deliver solutions to address them. We are excited to play our role in the digitization of Pakistan’s financial ecosystem and enhancing financial inclusion.”
Pakistan is bracing itself for a fintech revolution as the fifth most populous country in the world. Safe digital payment providers will be crucial to reducing Pakistan’s high levels of cash circulation which amounts to PKR 7 trillion and 85% cash-on-delivery via e-commerce. With the significant growth in smartphone penetration in Pakistan, Careem Pay will enable Customers, Captains and merchants to access more simplified and convenient payment services.
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