Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) Meezan Bank, Pakistan’s first and largest Islamic bank, recently announced a ground breaking partnership with Finja, the country’s first dual-regulated fintech (regulated by SBP and SECP), to support MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) through Shariah-compliant digital financing.
Local small businesses play a major role in the country’s economy but unfortunately this sector has had limited access to the formal financial sector. With the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, consumer preferences have moved swiftly from large grocery outlets to their neighbourhood ‘Karyana’ stores from where they can safely purchase daily essentials. Given their growing importance, Meezan Bank recognised that this segment is in dire need of financing to optimise their sales cycle and achieve business growth.
The partnership between Meezan Bank and Finja will allow MSMEs in the country to avail unsecured Islamic financing. The financing transaction will be managed digitally and in real-time and once approved the financing amount will be credited to his Meezan Smart Wallet account. Finja’s digital ecosystem will streamline and accelerate the credit evaluation and decision-making process. The system will assess risks using various eligibility checks and ensure compliance to the Bank’s risk acceptance criteria and will therefore ensure that financing decisions are taken very swiftly and Islamic financing is provided to the customer without any delay. This collaboration will benefit the entire supply chain eco-system, focusing on facilitating the retailers and consequently, the distributors.
Mr. Qasif Shahid – CEO and Co-founder, Finja remarked, “In a short span, we have crafted relationships with over 5,000 merchants in multiple cities and have extended short term digital loans of over Rs. 500 Million to this segment at the back of our NBFC (Non-Banking-Financial Corporation) status. The response from this segment has been fantastic with a deep integrity-driven relationship leading to the build-up of a healthy portfolio.”
Mr. Ariful Islam – Deputy CEO, Meezan Bank, said that “Meezan Bank realizes how important it is for small businesses to receive timely financing during these challenging times. Our partnership with Finja will allow us the right digital platform to provide quick and convenient Shariah-compliant financing to our customers and serve as a precursor to growing the country’s supply chain segment.”