Key Advancements in Pakistan’s Fintech Sector in 2023

In 2023, Pakistan’s fintech landscape witnessed significant developments, with both successes and challenges for operators. Some notable highlights include:

  1. ABHI’s Global Expansion: ABHI, a Pakistani fintech, expanded its presence in the UAE by launching an account-to-account payment service in partnership with Visa Inc. and YellowPepper. ABHI received global recognition as a technology pioneer from the World Economic Forum and secured Rs. 2 billion through Sukuk Islamic bonds.
  2. Akhtar Fuiou and EP Systems Approvals: Akhtar Fuiou Technologies received a commercial license from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for its e-money wallet services. EP Systems, backed by Systems Limited, got approval for its pilot operations, including the OneZapp wallet application.
  3. SadaPay’s Freelancer Service: SadaPay introduced a service allowing freelancers to receive payments through GooglePay and ApplePay, addressing the needs of the growing freelancer community in Pakistan. The service enables freelancers to save earnings in USD and convert them to PKR with competitive exchange rates.
  4. Checkout and CareemPay Withdrawal: Checkout and CareemPay decided to withdraw their licenses in the Pakistani market, citing economic uncertainty and intense competition. The exit of these international players raised concerns about the local fintech landscape.
  5. Finja’s E-Money Wallet Division Sale: Finja sold its E-Money Institution (EMI) operations to Opay International, focusing on its lending business. OPay’s entry is expected to bring benefits to the Pakistani market.
  6. Paymax’s Exit: Paymax, operating as CMPECC, announced plans to wind up its operations in Pakistan after more than a year of service. SBP advised the operator to refund outstanding funds to e-money wallet holders.

These developments indicate a dynamic and evolving fintech sector in Pakistan, with operators adapting to challenges and exploring new opportunities.