According to a statement released on Monday, Mashreq, one of the biggest financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region, has acquired a digital banking licence under the Digital Regulatory Framework provided by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Mashreq seeks to offer its digital knowledge to Pakistan in order to advance the central bank’s digital objectives.
Mashreq will introduce a team of bankers and engineers with multicultural expertise, as well as its established neo banking capabilities and world-class technology, to serve the increasing needs of its customers in Pakistan at the launch of its digital banking activities.
Mashreq is one of the most successful banks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with a growing presence in Europe, Asia, and the United States. It has always viewed Pakistan as an attractive financial destination due to the country’s banking sector’s remarkable expansion and turnaround in recent years.
In addition, the bank’s prowess in the realms of cybersecurity and compliance is well-known, as it builds a robust technology infrastructure, compliance strategy, competent technical competence, and an efficient risk management culture for each area it expands into.
“Our entry into Pakistan’s banking sector with digital banking solutions is a defining moment in Mashreq’s expansion strategies. Ahmed Abdelaal, Group Chief Executive Officer of Mashreq, stated, “I am confident that we can leverage Pakistan’s existing robust financial infrastructure to significantly improve the banking experience by delivering customer-centric solutions through our products and services.”
“With the introduction of really transformational banking systems and solutions, Mashreq will without a doubt prove to be a driving force in the expansion of digital finance and the broader digital economy in Pakistan. “We would like to thank SBP for allowing Mashreq to gain a foothold in one of the world’s most promising markets,” he added.
“We anticipate exploring a new Pakistani chapter on our strategic expansion roadmap. I believe that Mashreq’s vision aligns with the Digital Pakistan Initiative of the government. At Mashreq, we congratulate the efforts of the SBP in creating the groundwork that has catalysed the digitalisation of the banking sector in the country, thereby altering it as a whole. Through this potent synergy, we intend to establish and deploy a digital ecosystem in the country that includes infrastructure and institutional frameworks for the quick delivery of innovative digital services.” Fernando Morillo, Group Head of Retail Bank at Mashreq, commented.
“With the Digital Banking licence, Mashreq remains committed to delivering on its promise of customer value creation and financial inclusion,” he continued.
Mashreq’s extensive range of digital banking products, including Mashreq Neo, NeoPay, and NeoBiz, puts it as one of the country’s most progressive banks.
Pakistan is the third biggest adult unbanked population in the world, with over 100 million adults lacking a bank account and 82% of women lacking access to financial services.
According to the World Bank, 63 percent of the country’s population consists of young people between the ages of 15 and 33, making it a significant market for Mashreq.
With financial inclusion and customer convenience at its core, Mashreq intends to deliver its premium solutions to rural areas and underdeveloped markets to give creative opportunities and empower clients. Mashreq intends to contribute to economic activity by increasing financing to small firms and extending consumer loans to low-income households, particularly female entrepreneurs and young people.
Mashreq also intends to invest in rural infrastructure, such as microfinance institutions. These programmes will expand access to financial services for marginalised communities and promote economic growth by increasing lending activity.
Thus, by addressing the unique needs of its customers in Pakistan, Mashreq will shape the financial landscape of the country for decades to come.