Telenor Microfinance Bank and PepsiCo Enabling Simpler Access to Digital Financial Services for Merchants and Distributors
Mudassar Aqil, President & CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank (Right) and Furqan Ahmed Syed, CEO PepsiCo Pakistan and Afghanistan (Left) shake hands after signing the MoU in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). Lizhizian Xi, Ant Financial’s Country Director; Irfan Wahab Khan, Chairman, Telenor Microfinance Bank; Zara Basharat, Senior Manager Communications and Sustainability, PepsiCo and Hatim Khan, Director Corporate Affairs, PepsiCo are also present along with senior officials of the UN and both the respective organizations.
Lahore, NOVEMBER 29, 2019 – As part of the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion (CEOP), Pakistan’s leading financial institution, Telenor Microfinance Bank, and PepsiCo, the leading food and beverage company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the launch of Merchant to Distributor payments. The two companies signed the contract in the presence of H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). She visited Pakistan for three days to discuss the importance of safe and affordable access to financial services to improve the economic lives of people. Senior officials from both organizations were also present at the signing.
Under the agreement, the two companies collaborate to provide greater access to easy and affordable financial services for the underserved retail segment by digitizing retail value-chain via Easypaisa, Telenor Microfinance Bank’s digital payments platform. In the pilot phase the companies are testing the service to support PepsiCo distributor-merchant payments. This facility aims to provide a convenient method that allows distributors to send and receive payments easily.
Mohammad Mudassar Aqil, President and CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank expressed the following views about the initiative at the ceremony: “We welcome UN Special Advocate Queen Máxima on her visit to the country. Pakistan in the last few years has done a lot to promote financial inclusion in the society. Easypaisa was the first mobile wallet in Pakistan and it has transformed the way a large part of the population performs financial transactions. We are proud to expand our services into the corporate sector and partner with a corporation like PepsiCo which has an extensive number of distributors spread across the country.”
Sharing his view on the occasion, Mr. Furqan Ahmed Syed, CEO, PepsiCo Pakistan & Afghanistan, said:”PepsiCo is committed to the growth and prosperity of Pakistan. Financial inclusion for all in another initiative in line with this commitment and is embedded with our “With Purpose” philosophy. We thank Queen Maxima for her active role and support on this important agenda.”
The CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion (CEOP) is an informal private-private partnership of ten international businesses from various sectors on a CEO level convened for the first time in January 2018 by the UNSGSA. Its aim is to exchange knowledge and experience and step up cooperation in the area of financial inclusion and also expand the market potential of the businesses. The CEOP paved the way for this Merchant to Distributor payments arrangement between Telenor Microfinance Bank and PepsiCo. (https://www.unsgsa.org/resources/news/leading-ceos-share-experiences-private-private-partnerships)
Before witnessing the signing ceremony, Queen Máxima visited a distribution center of PepsiCo where she met a distributor and three merchants who have been part of this pilot project. She also interacted with a merchant at his shop and conversed with him about challenges that he faces during his daily financial transactions and while availing credit sources.