Mastercard to partner with Digitt+ to promote financial inclusion in Pakistan’s agricultural sector
New collaboration will bring Mastercard Community Pass to Pakistan
Lahore (Nut Desk) Aktkar Fuiou Technologies (AFT) has signed an agreement with Mastercard marking its commitment to participate in the Mastercard Community Pass Program. Digitt+, Pakistan’s first regulated agri-fintech company, powered by AFT, intends to connect untapped agricultural markets with digital payment solutions and become the first entity to launch Mastercard Commerce Pass in Pakistan.
Mastercard’s Commerce Pass is an offline, stored-value account product that enables consumers and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to store, receive, and spend funds digitally, providing security and transparency to merchants and consumers alike. This digital payment solution reduces the risks of storing and moving cash.
Half of Pakistan’s workforce is employed in agriculture, however, insufficient infrastructure in agricultural communities hinders financial services and other organizations from serving these individuals. Pakistan is also home to 8% of the world’s unbanked adults. Commerce Pass will help bring these individuals into the formal economy by providing a record of transactions to facilitate access to credit and other financial services. This digital payment solution will also help support financial resilience for the 63% of Pakistanis who live in rural areas and are otherwise dependent upon informal lending channels.
Commerce Pass is just one of the services offered under Mastercard’s Community Pass portfolio, which is a shared and interoperable digital technology platform designed to address the infrastructure challenges in digitizing rural communities, such as unreliable connectivity, low smartphone ownership, and lack of consistent identification or credentials. With a broad suite of easy-to-use digital technologies and tools, Community Pass seeks to enable safe, simple, smart and commercially sustainable solutions, increase access to critical services and create greater efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery, for populations living in remote and marginalized communities, in order to build a more inclusive and sustainable digital economy for all.
Ngozi Megwa, Senior Vice President, Digital Partners & Enablers, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard, said: “Partnerships are key to driving a more inclusive, more equitable future for all. Mastercard has a rich history of supporting the dynamic Pakistan market through private public collaborations, and will continue to work with industry leaders like Digitt+ to foster sustainable growth that benefits people across all segments.”
Ricardo Pareja, Senior Vice President, Head of Sales and Market Development, Mastercard, added: “Community Pass includes a broad range of solutions that solve for critical needs and provides people with better access to essential financial services. By bringing our technology, Commerce Pass, together with Digitt+’s extensive footprint in the agricultural sector, we can bring new customers into the formal economy across the agricultural supply chain.”
Digitt+ is the country’s first fintech player currently in its pilot phase focused on the agriculture sector to pass the stringent regulatory approval process that qualifies it to operate as an electronic money institution (EMI).
Ahmed Ali Saleemi, CEO, Digitt+, said: “Digitt+ is on a mission to digitize payments in Pakistan. We are targeting the country’s largest untapped segment – agriculture – and believe that access to Mastercard’s Commerce Pass will have a significant positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of rural communities. Streamlining the payment process can enable farmers to boost crop yields, which will lead to strengthening food security and increasing the contribution of the agriculture sector to the national GDP, which currently stands at 25%. Our partnership with Mastercard places us in a unique position to scale this segment based on our shared vision and legacy.”