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EASYPAISA: Transforming digital financial space in Pakistan

Easypaisa is Pakistan’s first mobile banking platform launched in 2009, the only GSMA mobile money certified service in the country. Initially launched as a money transfer service, Easypaisa empowers underserved masses by bringing convenience and freedom to their lives, and has today become an icon in money transfers, synonymous with convenience and reliability.

Easypaisa was launched in 2009, and began with just 4,000 outlets across the country. At present it has more than 84,000 outlets catering more than 7 million active users. Initially, it began with just money transfer through USSD codes sent through conventional mobile phones. Now Easypaisa is a complete digital banking solution providing the same features as a conventional bank account would. In May 2016, Easypaisa launched its Smartphone application, which is now the most convenient banking solution for all classes of people. The app currently has more than 10 million downloads on the app store and has 5.6 million device active customers. While a conventional bank app only allows transfer between accounts, Easypaisa enables transactions from one individual to another and requires a valid NIC and mobile number.

Easypaisa provides an extensive range of services that consumers can enjoy all the perks of digital banking without having to open a bank account. With the Easypaisa App customers can: 1) transfer money, 2) top-up their mobile balance including exclusive bundles from all telecom service providers (Jazz, Telenor, Zong and Ufone), 3) pay bills of all utilities services and various independent platforms as well, 4) pull money from IBFT bank accounts to Easypaisa, 5) purchase tickets for movies and buses at select locations and avail exciting discounts and cash backs while maintaining their digital wallets balance.

In March 2018, Ant financial services group (the investment wing of the global Alibaba Group) reached a strategic agreement with the Telenor Group (owners of Telenor Micro-Finance Bank and Easypaisa) to invest US$184.5 million for a 45 percent stake. Over the past 10 years, the service has evolved, the customer base increased and investors grew considerably. In 2019, Easypaisa completed a decade of transforming the digital financial space in the country. On completion of 10 years in the market, Easypaisa completely revamped its image coming out with a new identity with an updated logo in 2019 November.

Easypaisa has been conferred various awards and achieved milestones those include: 1) ‘Best mobile money launch’ of 2009, 2) ‘Best mobile money transfer entrant of the year’ at the world’s first mobile money transfer Awards 2010, 3) ‘Best new entrant’ in global mobile money transfer award 2011, 4) recognized as ‘mobile money sprinter’ by GSMA MMU in 2012, 5) ‘Best mobile money service’ at the GSMA awards 2014, 6) ‘Best mobile service for women in emerging markets’ at the GSMA awards 2014, 7) People’s choice award in Dow Jones & Wall Street Journal’s ‘financial inclusion challenge’ 2015, 8) ‘Financial innovation award’ in the category of ‘most innovative application of technology’ at the financial innovation awards 2016, 9) ‘Bank the unbanked’ at the Pakistan banking awards in 2016 & 2017, 10) ‘Best mobile payment solution’ at the global mobile awards 2017, 11) became the first and only branchless banking service in Pakistan to get ‘GSMA mobile money certification’ in 2018, 12) ‘Innovation in payments award’ under ‘the innovators 2019’ banner of global finance magazine, 13) ‘Most innovative MFI’ in the 13th citi micro-entrepreneurship awards 2019.

From 2009 till 2019 the tagline was “Easypaisa – Badlay Zindagi Aasani Say”. In 2019 November at the time of the brand re-launch the tagline was changed to “Easypaisa – Easy Hai”

According to the State Bank’s latest branchless banking newsletter, there are a total of 26.9 million active branchless banking accounts in Pakistan as of April 2020. Out of this Easypaisa holds 27% of the accounts as the second biggest brand in the market, JazzCash enjoys 34% of the market.

Easypaisa attained brand equity using advertising as well as quality assurance. Focus has been on maintaining a high quality of delivery for the product/service. Advertising is a tool to reach masses, which has been effective in passing on product information across to the target audience. The retail presence in rural locations has also helped in achieving dominance as the country’s premier mobile banking/money movement service.

The investment from Ant Financial is a sizeable international investment for any bank operating in Pakistan and it will further facilitate Easypaisa in expansion and diversification of its services and provide inclusive financial services to more consumers and small businesses in Pakistan, including digital banking and credit services. The investment has also helped with the redirection of funds toward the development and redesign of the Easypaisa app, which was launched a-new in November 2018. Since then the app has gone from strength to strength in delivery better user experience along with adding newer use cases such as Food Delivery and Wallet top up of other e-commerce/ride-hailing services such as Daraz and Careem respectively.

Easypaisa roughly processes over 7.2 million transactions every month through its users, both on the app and the USSD platform). Over the next one year (by end 2021) the organization plans to grow this number to 14 million and over the next 4 years increase this figure to capture at least 50% of the Smartphone users present within the country, taking the total monthly transaction active user base to 44 million. With this aggressive expansion in the user base the brand would become the country’s top mobile payment processor.

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