Pakistan‘s National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) and Checkout.com, the provider of cross-border payments solutions to Fintech firms, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
NIFT is Pakistan’s largest transactional clearing facilitator. It provides efficient, cost-effective and automated clearing of financial transactions. Meanwhile. Checkout.com is a multinational integrated payment service provider that provides payments in over 150 currencies, in-country acquiring, fraud filters, and reporting services.
According to the terms of the MoU, both organizations will aim to introduce better payment options in Pakistan, which still has a relatively large informal economy because the majority of residents don’t have access to modern financial services.
Checkout.com and NIFT will offer various payment services by leveraging each other’s infrastructure, while pursuing commercial opportunities. Both organizations will aim to support digital payments and settlements for Pakistani exports.
Both organizations will accept payments supported by American Express, MasterCard, Visa, MasterCard, and UnionPay. Checkout.com brings various payment methods and online wallets including Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Wechat – which should provide many more payment options to Pakistani businesses.
NIFT ePay is reportedly the first local payment gateway to be launched in Pakistan. It enables the aggregation of various digital payment methods and allows customers to pay for online purchases.
Guillaume Pousaz, CEO at Checkout.com stated:
“We bring the leading connected payments and innovative services to the fastest-growing markets. We are proud to partner with NIFT. Pakistan represents one of the biggest opportunities for global enterprise companies and is home to some of the most innovative businesses in the region. Together with NIFT, we’ll offer seamless localized payments, supporting merchants with better customer experiences and more revenue opportunities.”
Haider Wahab, CEO at NIFT, remarked:
“We are extremely delighted to have Checkout.com as global payment enabler to our NIFT ePay Platform. This is a great milestone for NIFT e-Pay and Pakistan’s vision to promote commerce beyond borders through digital platforms and payment options.”
Achieving financial inclusion is still a significant challenge in Pakistan, according to recent statements from one of the country’s Fintech sector executives, however, new products are being developed to address key requirements.
Pakistan’s EasyPaisa, a leading digital wallet provider, has partnered with the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to support virtual payments.
The Digital Pakistan Initiative is making progress, as the nation’s digital banking infrastructure has been upgraded, but many more improvements are needed before the country can begin to catch up with more developed Asian nations.