Earlier this month, Pakistan’s Easypaisa, a local provider of online financial services, teamed up with Zakat and Ushr department of the Government of (the province of) Punjab, in order to distribute funds to locals who have been impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and resulting economic slowdown due to a nationwide lockdown.’
Through the partnership, the companies will digitally disburse Zakat (charity) funds worth PKR 1.5 billion (appr. $9.2 million) to over 170,000 eligible residents who are struggling to meet basic personal needs during these challenging times. EasyPaisa’s management said that the funds would be distributed in a secure and convenient manner.
As reported by local news outlet, The Nation, Easypaisa is among the first major digital or branchless banking services in Pakistan to support financial relief efforts in the country.
A lockdown is being enforced across Pakistan, in order to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus. This has made it difficult for low-income individuals and households to acquire the very basic necessities.
The digital disbursement of funds will be carried out during a 10-day period, while ensuring that social distancing and other precautions are being followed. Beneficiaries across 36 districts of Punjab will be eligible to receive money from more than 70,000 Easypaisa retail outlets.
M. Mudassar Aqil, president and CEO at Easypaisa and Telenor Microfinance Bank, stated:
“We are honored to be the first bank, designed to operate as a Fintech, by bringing cutting edge technology solutions to the financial sector through our large digital platform Easypaisa.”
“We will keep providing the Government of Pakistan our support in these difficult times. Easypaisa is well-suited for such Government-to-People transactions and we are already working with other departments and provincial governments to facilitate more of such transfers”.
Shoukat Ali Laleka, Punjab Minister for Zakat and Ushr, remarked:
”We are happy to be partnering with Easypaisa, one of the most reliable money transfer and digital banking service in the country. We believe that their widespread network and technology will allow us to disburse these funds in a hassle-free and safe manner.”