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KARACHI: The Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited (MMBL) has signed an agreement with Virtual Remittance Gateway...

KARACHI: The Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited (MMBL) has signed an agreement with Virtual Remittance Gateway (VRG) to give access to its non-smartphone users to their bank accounts, a statement said on Wednesday.

MMBL partnered with mobile financial services platform VRG to allow its non-smartphone users to use their bank accounts via unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) channels, it added.

Pakistan’s only commercially licensed Third-Party Service Provider (TPSP), VRG will enable MMBL’s USSD channels, allowing its customers to use banking services 24/7 on their phones that do not have 3G, 4G, WiFi, or Internet connections.

MMBL’s non-smartphone users will be able to check their bank balance, bank statement, transfer funds, pay utility bills, and recharge their mobile phone accounts without data or internet connection. The initiative will initially be piloted for a month’s period, followed by a commercial launch in January 2022.

Ghazanfar Azzam, president and chief executive officer of MMBL, said: “We are committed to expanding our financial services to a wider pool of customers by targeting the underserved segments of the society.”

“Over the years, MMBL has successfully been able to reach millions of customers across Pakistan through its wide array of innovative products and services specifically tailored to promote financial inclusion for all. With VRG’s partnership, MMBL plans to revolutionise Pakistan’s banking sector by bridging the financial gap and eradicating all barriers to access digital financial services,” he added.

MMBL chief finance and digital officer Sardar Mohammad Abubakr said: “MMBL is dedicated to uplift the unbanked and underserved segments, particularly SMEs [small medium enterprises] and women-led businesses, by providing them access to financial services through its expansive digital financial ecosystem.”

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“Through this partnership, we strive to accelerate further growth by merging USSD channels with our tailored products and services that will not only enable individuals at a wider scale but will give them a chance to contribute positively to Pakistan’s digital financial ecosystem as well,” he added.

Muhammad Salman Ali, chief executive officer of VRG, said: “Customer centricity is at the heart of banking and this collaboration is a significant step towards digital banking making its impact bigger on customer experience across business segments.”

“Providing Unified USSD service to access banking will not only enhance the customer experience but also augment MMBL’s digital footprint to reach customers who were previously out of the digital banking net,” he added.

The Mobilink Microfinance Bank is committed to leading digital banking initiatives across the country. The bank is promoting financial inclusion by providing innovative, convenient, and accessible digital financial solutions to the masses.