Pakistan’s first and largest branchless banking service and a joint venture between Tameer Microfinance Bank and Telenor Pakistan, Easypaisa, has won the People’s Choice award in Dow Jones & Wall Street Journal’s “The Financial Inclusion Challenge” held in Hong Kong on June 30th 2015.
The Wall Street Journal invited nonprofit and for-profit enterprises around the world to submit short video proposals that showcased their solutions to the problems of financial access for the poor. An independent panel of judges assessed all entries and Easypaisa was amongst the six finalists. Out of dozens of other applicants, Easypaisa was the only Pakistani service to be shortlisted in this international competition. Voting was conducted via Wall Street Journal’s website and concluded on 26th June. Easypaisa was up against competing organizations from Bangladesh, China, India and Laos.
Expressing his delight, Nadeem Hussain, CEO and President, Tameer Microfinance Bank said, “It is a great honor for Easypaisa to be recognized for a service that has direct impact on marginalized societies in general and women in particular. We deem this award a testament of the trust our customers put in us and recognition of our efforts in capitalizing technology for positive social change.” “We would like to thank the State Bank of Pakistan for creating a regulatory environment which has enabled us to achieve global recognition for a Pakistani service,” he added.
“I cannot stress enough that our real award is the transformation in people’s lives brought about by Easypaisa. We work every day to make financial inclusion a reality in Pakistan and eliminate gender disparity among groups who have access to formal financial solutions to earn, transfer and save money,” said Yahya Khan, Chief Financial Services Officer, Telenor Pakistan. “We’d like to thank the Wall Street Journal for recognizing these efforts and our international partners for their support in making Easypaisa a globally recognized mobile money service.”
Financial Inclusion Challenge Judge Vipin Sharma said “Easypaisa has a sustainable and scalable model that allows it to offer a wide variety of products. The mobile banking service isn’t limited to Telenor subscribers, and can be used by any person regardless of telecom network, which is a huge benefit for residents of Pakistan where the mobile penetration rate is more than 70%, but financial inclusion trails at only 15%.”
In addition to the success in the domestic market, Easypaisa has received global recognition in the past as well. In 2013, Easypaisa was declared as the third biggest mobile money service in the world award by CGAP, a unit within the World Bank, and in 2014, Easypaisa won the Best Mobile Money Service award at the annual GSMA Awards in Barcelona.