Mastercard has announced a collaboration with JazzCash, the largest digital wallet provider in Pakistan serving over 43 million accounts, to revolutionize digital payments by introducing affordable acceptance solutions in the country.
The partners are launching QR code payments, Pay by Link, and Tap on Phone solutions to facilitate cost-effective and widespread acceptance for merchants at the bottom of the economic pyramid. These solutions will enable fast-growing segments, such as freelancers and gig workers, to accept digital payments, in addition to catering to underserved segments, like micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Pakistan is home to over 5.2 million MSMEs, 50% of which are owned by women. The country currently has only 220,000 payment acceptance locations, which account for fewer than 1,000 locations per million people.
“At Mastercard, we have pledged to connect 50 million MSMEs worldwide to the digital economy by 2025, with a special focus on 25 million women-owned businesses. Building on our common goal of promoting financial inclusion, our partnership with JazzCash seeks to empower over five million such enterprises to future-proof their businesses. We look froward to continuing our contribution to the development of a robust, safe, and competitive digital payment ecosystem in Pakistan through our locally relevant solutions and services,” said Dimitrios Dosis, President, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard.
“Narrowing the financial inclusion divide in the country by means of easing a common Pakistani’s, especially women’s, access to financial services has been a top priority for us at JazzCash. Collaborations like these bring us closer to our goals and help us address the needs of previously underserved market segments, enabling businesses and individuals to participate in the digital economy,” said Aamir Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer, Jazz.
Pakistan currently has a very low penetration of digital and card transactions, with only around 1% of personal consumption expenditure (PCE) being made through cards. At present, digital payment acceptance is limited to large urban centers and high-end merchants. Through their partnership, Mastercard and JazzCash intend to make payments accessible to the masses. The collaboration aims to expand acceptance infrastructure, allowing consumers to conduct digital transactions at various commerce locations.