ISLAMABAD: “When two organizations that share a common vision of utilizing their core strengths to achieve significant socioeconomic progress come together, remarkable outcomes are realized. This collaborative model has the potential to address Pakistan’s longstanding issues of financial exclusion. Murtaza Ali, the Head of JazzCash, Pakistan’s leading fintech, expressed these thoughts during a conversation. He emphasized that for any forward-looking organization committed to empowering the people they serve, joining forces can lead to unexpected and positive results. Murtaza highlighted how JazzCash, as an industry-leading fintech, along with other market players, has been actively contributing to bridging the financial inclusion gap in Pakistan, enabling more individuals to access formal financial services. When combined efforts from various stakeholders are synchronized, the impact of these initiatives multiplies significantly. An excellent example of this collaboration is their recent partnership with the government of Sind’s Reform Support Unit, where JazzCash facilitated the swift and seamless disbursement of girls’ stipends throughout the province, benefiting over 275,000 girl students. Such outcomes exemplify the positive impact that can be achieved through meaningful partnerships. Furthermore, in a developing country like Pakistan, micro, small, and medium enterprises play a vital role in the economy. With over 5 million SMEs in the country, there is a pressing need to bring these informal businesses into the formal financial system through documentation and integration.” “This is exactly what our recent partnership with Mastercard aims to achieve. We introduced affordable acceptance solutions like QR code payments, Pay by Link, and Tap on Phone to facilitate our SMEs, about 50% of them are women-led,” Murtaza said. Branchless banking players have also been facilitating and empowering the freelance community in Pakistan in different ways, which is crucial in these tough economic times, especially with Pakistan’s unemployment rate touching 6%. “Our recent partnership with Pakistan Freelancers Association (PAFLA) was focused on empowering and uplifting our freelance community, which is one of the fastest-growing in the world. We expect it to play a major role in creating a thriving environment for the freelance ecosystem by overcoming financial challenges and promoting financial inclusion.” Leading fintechs globally are continually enhancing their product portfolio and JazzCash is no exception. Its broad range of services includes digital payments, money transfers, travel, ticketing, entertainment, savings, loans, as well as insurance. “Knowing the paramount importance of life insurance, and realizing not every Pakistani has access to it, we also joined forces with EFU Life to introduce a range of life insurance offers. The carefully designed packages prioritize the welfare of individuals and their families, aiming to provide the utmost protection.” “We’re working on two fronts when it comes to financial inclusion in Pakistan: while we’re identifying and removing barriers to financial mainstreaming in the country, we’re also aiming to reverse the trend where more Pakistani men than women tend to be financially included,” Murtaza stressed.