- easypaisa: Redefining financial landscape of Pakistan
In the heart of Pakistan, where nearly 100 million unbanked individuals face limited access to credit, a financial revolution was underway. The traditional commercial banking landscape struggled to provide services to the underprivileged, especially in remote regions. The daunting prospect of establishing brick and mortar branches in these areas was a significant challenge for many banks. However, the inception of easypaisa, emerged as a beacon of change.
In 2009, easypaisa made its debut as a peer to peer money transfer service, marking the genesis of a fintech revolution in Pakistan. It went beyond mere financial transactions, bringing financial services to the unbanked population. easypaisa quickly became a household name for easy and convenient money transfer.
With just a basic mobile phone, people could open accounts and seamlessly send and receive money, making easypaisa a trailblazing branchless banking brand. Its continuous innovation journey centered around user-friendly, customer-centric products, playing a vital role in digitizing the cash economy and bringing the unbanked into the formal financial system.
The easypaisa network expanded with more than 180,000 registered agents serving millions of customers daily, from urban centers to rural heartlands.
Easypaisa’s primary focus on user facilitation led to the creation of a telco-agnostic easypaisa App, making financial services more accessible and advancing digitalisation in Pakistan. The App evolved over the years, enabling users to perform various tasks, from sending money to buying mobile top-ups, paying utility bills, and purchasing bus and movie tickets. QR payments functionality was introduced, allowing quick and hassle-free payments by simply scanning a QR code.
Today, easypaisa is more than just a digital payments platform; its a complete digital lifestyle solution. With over 13 million monthly active users, easypaisa offers a wide array of services seamlessly integrated within the App, including payments, digital lending, savings & investment, insurance, and platform services. In 2023 alone, the platform processed 2.1 billion transactions worth PKR 6.8 trillion, which is equivalent to 7% of Pakistan’s GDP.
Through the Mini App programme, easypaisa partners with various service providers, for healthcare, food, gaming, booking, ticketing, health, vouchers and more. Wealth management services have also been introduced, exemplifying the platform’s commitment to offering comprehensive solutions.
Speaking of more cutting-edge solutions, in-app verification allows users to verify their accounts seamlessly within the easypaisa app. The easypaisa Visa debit card empowers users to pay utility bills, send donations, subscribe to insurance plans, scan QR codes, buy tickets, transfer funds with Raast, subscribe to attractive savings plans, open an Asaan Digital Account, top up, and even engage in playing games.
The broader landscape of financial services in Pakistan has evolved significantly, driven by factors like a youthful, tech-savvy population, increasing broadband and smartphone penetration, and supportive regulatory initiatives. The Covid-19 pandemic further accelerated the adoption of digital payments.
As part of its product portfolio, easypaisa introduced digital loans, a significant step towards financial inclusion. In 2021, it developed its digital lending product based on an in-house payment data algorithm, becoming the first in the industry to offer in-house credit scoring. Users could access this service through the USSD channel and the App. The credit score, derived from an in-house machine learning algorithm based on payment data, utilizes hundreds of data points for each customer.
Easypaisa has also emerged as a front runner in implementing State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) initiatives like Raast, digital onboarding, Raast QR and P2P, Assan Mobile Account, and Asaan Digital Account, contributing significantly to financial inclusion in Pakistan.
With an astounding more than 50 million downloads on the app store and an exceptional 4.5 app store rating, easypaisa’s journey vividly illustrates the potential of digital financial solutions in fostering financial inclusion. As the platform steadily progresses towards obtaining a digital banking license, subject to regulatory approvals, the potential implications for further financial inclusion are vast, promising a future where easypaisa leads the charge in the digital banking revolution, redefining the financial landscape of Pakistan.