Telenor Pakistan and Kistpay have joined forces to offer Shariah-compliant smartphone installment plans, aiming to promote smartphone ownership and digital inclusion among middle and low-income customer segments. This partnership is part of the ‘Smartphone for All’ initiative launched by Kistpay and GSMA, a global association of mobile operators and companies focused on advancing the mobile industry and supporting digital transformation.
The signing ceremony, held on July 13, was attended by prominent figures including Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO of Telenor Pakistan, and Ali Abbas Sikander, CEO of Kistpay. Julian Gorman, Head of APAC Region GSMA; Saira Faisal, Country Lead GSMA; and Jeanette Whyte, Head of Public Policy APAC GSMA also participated virtually.
This collaboration marks Kistpay’s second installment-based mobile financing arrangement in 2023, with the first being established through their agreement with Jazz earlier this year. Telenor Pakistan’s core business focuses on data and connectivity services, making collaborations with financing entities like Kistpay essential. Kistpay’s extensive network of franchises and retailers across the country, coupled with its comprehensive analytical database of consumer behavior, usage, and demographics, enables the identification of suitable users for smartphone purchases.
Telenor’s choice to partner with Kistpay was driven by their shared mission of creating social impact through providing effortless access to smartphone financing, particularly for the unbanked population. Telenor believes that by eliminating barriers to smartphone ownership and digital access, they can revolutionize lives and foster a more inclusive society.
Through this partnership, Telenor envisions a society where everyone, regardless of their background, can benefit from smartphone ownership and digital services. The ultimate goal is to build a digitally inclusive Pakistan, where connectivity and smartphones are accessible to all, driving socioeconomic progress and shaping a brighter future for the nation.
In terms of the technology behind the installment financing, Kistpay has developed a sophisticated, homegrown tech stack that utilizes alternative data analysis for creditworthiness checks. Their proprietary algorithm for device locking helps mitigate non-performing loans (NPLs) by remotely locking devices in case of default. Kistpay is dedicated to addressing this issue through cutting-edge technology, although specific details about its proprietary system were not disclosed.
The collaboration between Telenor Pakistan and Kistpay represents a significant step towards bridging the digital divide and ensuring that individuals from all walks of life can access the transformative power of smartphones and digital connectivity. By providing Shariah-compliant installment plans, they are empowering more people to embrace the digital economy and contribute to Pakistan’s progress in the digital age.