Aamir Ibrahim, CEO Jazz and Chairman Mobilink Microfinance Bank (MMBL), emphasized the urgent need to build a more inclusive financial system and presented recommendations for the same at a webinar ‘Spotlight Pakistan Day’ hosted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Virtual Remittance Gateway (VRG) on Tuesday. VRG is the Pakistan partner of the Edison Alliance, a WEF global initiative focused on improving digital inclusion and supporting underserved communities worldwide
The event, where government organizations and private sector entities were invited, was focused on discussing the success of the Virtual Remittance Gateway’s (VRG) Asaan Mobile Account (AMA) scheme. Caretaker Prime Minister – Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, Caretaker Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs – Dr Shamshad Akhtar, VRG and Pathfinder Group Chairman – Zarrar Sehgal, VRG CEO Muhammad – Salman Ali, among others, participated in the webinar and shared their insights on Pakistan’s financial inclusion progress.
On the occasion, Aamir Ibrahim reiterated the unwavering commitment of JazzCash, Pakistan’s leading fintech, to improving lives and livelihoods through technology, particularly for women and underserved communities. He highlighted how the platform – with its largest mobile money customer base of 43 million – continues to reduce women’s financial exclusion and empower them through carefully designed financial solutions. Aamir also discussed the positive outlook of digital financial inclusion in Pakistan with mobile wallets now surpassing conventional bank accounts and Raast reaching millions of users.
Discussing key strategies to promote financial inclusion in Pakistan – particularly focusing on women, rural and low-income communities – Aamir presented key policy recommendations to accelerate financial inclusion, including enabling use cases that aid in documenting the economy and building a more inclusive financial system. “Leveraging real-time data for effective policy interventions, expanding SME access to credit through digital lending platforms, improving handset affordability for the masses, and accessible banking services are crucial for attaining sustainable financial inclusion,” he recommended.
Aamir Ibrahim also expressed gratitude to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for their supportive role, acknowledging their facilitative approach that has accelerated fintech growth in the country. He emphasized the critical role of collaboration between the government and industry players. He stressed the need for joint efforts to address challenges such as the cash economy, empowering the unbanked population, and facilitating credit access for small businesses to foster a more inclusive and resilient financial ecosystem in Pakistan.
Aamir also underscored the importance of financial literacy, upskilling women to increase their awareness and access to financial services. He also emphasized the need for public-private collaborations to develop robust and sustainable women-focused financial solutions that also promote women’s entrepreneurship. Hailing the significant contributions of Asaan Mobile Accounts (AMA) and Raast to the ongoing financial inclusion efforts in Pakistan, Aamir urged the government and key stakeholders, both domestic and international, to explore new opportunities in Pakistan’s budding fintech ecosystem.
Aamir Ibrahim also highlighted JazzCash’s contributions and said that JazzCash is focused on helping SMEs, adding that the app is a One-Stop financial platform for SMEs. He said that JazzCash aims to encourage a cashless economy by becoming a go-to app for SMEs. He said that the platform’s gender-intentional approach is making significant strides in accelerating women’s financial inclusion, with over 13 million women users benefiting from its services. Moreover, he said, JazzCash has disbursed PKR 6.5 million in loans, empowering women entrepreneurs and contributing to their economic growth and financial independence.