Financial Inclusion: Pakistani Fintech NayaPay Secures $13M to Support Digital Banking, Online Payments

Pakistan’s NayaPay Pvt. has reportedly acquired $13 million in early-stage capital as it aims to onboard consumers who an underbanked or financially underserved.

The Karachi-headquartered Fintech firm’s seed round has been led by Zayn Capital, MSA Novo and Silicon Valley’s early-stage investor Graph Ventures, CEO Danish Lakhani confirmed (in statements shared with Bloomberg).

NayaPay became the first startup to provide financial services after acquiring an operational license from the State Bank of Pakistan back in August 2021. The Fintech company’s chat-based payments app launched by focusing on freelancer workers and students.

Fintechs in developing countries are now starting to attract considerable investor attention as more consumers turn to all-digital payment methods (following the COVID outbreak). In Pakistan, there are merely around 1% of nearly $4 trillion of payments being settled digitally. The nation has the third-largest population globally of consumers without access to modern banking services, the World Bank revealed.

Lakhani, who previously led the nation’s largest fiber-broadband service, StormFiber, stated:

“Fintech is a tremendous opportunity in Pakistan.”

NayaPay is currently focused on creating a payment platform for SMEs (kind of like how Square, WeChat Pay and Venmo work, according to Bloomberg). The firm is now focused on serving five million clients and around 300,000 merchants in the coming years,  Lakhani revealed.

Saison Capital, Lakson Group, Waleed Saigol’s Maple Leaf Capital and Warren Hogarth of Empower Finance also took part in the Fintech firm’s investment round.

Faisal Aftab, co-founder at Zayn Capital remarked:

“While just beginning to emerge, Pakistani fintechs have the advantage of learning from peers and making better-informed strategic bets.”

Last month, Askari Bank and NayaPay entered an agreement to promote digital payments in Pakistan.

As an Electronic Money Institution (EMI), NayaPay enables users “to open E-money accounts in a few simple steps.” E-money account holders can “make digital payments by accessing their funds through the NayaPay app and associated debit card, accepted at ATMs and retailers across Pakistan.”

For Askari Bank, providing new and innovative digital modes of transactions to customers is “part of their digital banking strategy.” This collaboration will “enable Askari Bank’s customers to link their Askari Bank account to their NayaPay wallet for convenient money transfers between accounts and for merchants to offload funds to their designated Askari Bank account.” Consumers and businesses can “use their linked accounts to pay verified merchants on the NayaPay app.”

Syed Jafar Raza Rizvi, Acting Head Corporate & Investment Banking, Askari Bank said:

“Askari Bank is a firm believer that synergies within a financial ecosystem would not only benefit the consumers, but will also assist in achieving the financial inclusion objective. The interplay of technology and financial services would only grow in coming years. At Askari Bank, we are delighted to sign up NayaPay as one of our partners.”

Danish Lakhani, CEO NayaPay, remarked:

“At NayaPay, we are building an indigenous digital platform to address the everyday payment pain-points of Pakistani citizens. The partnership between Askari Bank and NayaPay is a step towards an enabling environment that fosters innovation and transparency to create value for our collective customers.”

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