Pakistan’s top banking institution, Bank Alfalah Limited (BAL), has signed an agreement with Punjab Beverages Company (PBC) to initiate a pilot to digitize the last mile retailer in the PBC supply chain. The main objective of the project is to digitize incentive payouts and expense reimbursements made by PBC to its distributors and retailers. Currently the payouts are made directly to the retailers as well as through the distributors on PBC issued instruments, coupons and/or cash. This collaboration shall result in the introduction of a PBC branded debit card powered by BAL. Development of a digital payment ecosystem in partnership with PBC will act as a catalyst to extend the financial outreach and convenience to last mile retailer in the retail supply chain. This will make the payouts real-time as opposed to days that it currently takes to reach the distributors and retailers. The signing was followed by a launch event hosted by PBC in Faisalabad. Over 200 retailers and 2 distributors were invited at the event who unanimously appreciated the effort and showed keen interest in acquiring the PBC-branded debit card.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Amaar Naveed Ikhlas, Head of Branchless Banking at Bank Alfalah, stated, “Bank Alfalah is committed to achieving the long-term goal of financial inclusion in Pakistan and also bridge the service divide between various social and economic groups within the country. We are excited to have PBC as our partner to initiate this pilot and test our product to gain insights into retailer behaviour on the digitized payments platform. The insights gained from this pilot will help both BAL and PBC to scale up, nurture and grow the digitized payment ecosystem.”
Also speaking on the occasion, Mr. Omar Farooq Khan, CEO at Punjab Beverages, stated, “Punjab Beverages is committed to digitizing our retail supply chain payments which will not only make the payouts real-time, but also increase retailer confidence and loyalty towards PBC. We are confident that our partnership with BAL will bring access to finance for small business owners through a suite of financial products and services with a focus on PBC supply chain payments.”
Bank Alfalah is an avid proponent of digital technology in the country, which the bank sees as a mode to induce efficacy to the country’s banking and financial sector. Bank Alfalah has struck numerous deals within and out of the industry to digitize products and services infrastructure to dole out added ease and convenience to customers. The Bank maintains a comprehensive ecosystem comprising digital products and services meant to facilitate widespread digital inclusion in the country.