Telenor Microfinance Bank Granted Initial Approval for Launching Digital Retail Bank

Telenor Microfinance Bank, the operator of Pakistan’s popular digital financial services platform, easypaisa, has achieved a significant milestone by securing In-Principle Approval (IPA) for a Digital Retail Bank (DRB) license from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). 

This approval was granted under the Licensing and Regulatory Framework for Digital Banks, demonstrating TMB’s readiness to offer a diverse range of financial services primarily through digital channels, thereby revolutionizing the digital banking experience for millions of Pakistanis.

The SBP held an official ceremony in Karachi to award In-Principle Approval to five banks, including TMB. The event was attended by various stakeholders, including sponsors of other DRBs, incumbent bank CEOs, financial institutions, fintechs, and SBP’s top management, along with TMB’s senior management and shareholders.

The introduction of the Licensing and Regulatory Framework for Digital Banks by SBP in January 2022 paved the way for this achievement. Following a rigorous assessment process, five applicants, including TMB, were selected and granted a No Objection Certificate (NOC) earlier this year to establish a digital bank.

Irfan Wahab Khan, Chairman of Telenor Microfinance Bank, expressed gratitude to SBP for their trust and approval, emphasizing the significance of this achievement in furthering financial inclusion in Pakistan. Kashif Ahmed, Acting CEO of Telenor Microfinance Bank, highlighted the commitment to a digital-first business model and the support of customers and shareholders in reaching this milestone. 

Telenor Microfinance Bank is now focusing on operational readiness in alignment with SBP’s digital banking framework, preparing to redefine the banking landscape in Pakistan and enhance financial inclusion and convenience for all.