Call to provide e-commerce reach to unbanked and underprivileged people


KARACHI: In a highly interactive session, experts from the financial sector, telecom industry, technology sector and business community pressed for the need to support financial inclusion the focal point of first mobile commerce & banking summit & exhibition inaugural session. The event was organized by The Professionals Network.

The convergence of mobile technology, finance and the consumer was the theme of the event and brought together prominent bankers, technology and telecom experts and business leaders and held a dialogue on the sectors most challenging issues. Additionally, the summit aimed to highlight the importance of mobile technology for B2B and B2C financial industry. Panellist shared contrasting views breathing life into the event, which was laden with economic and financial data.

During his opening address, Mehmood Tareen, Founder & CEO, TPN said that the ways and methods of communication, learning, shopping and spending have drastically gone through a rapid change in the past few years, similarly our approach towards performing banking transactions have also gone through a rapid change simultaneously.

Ateequr Rehman in his introductory but thought-provoking address discussed the dire needs of implementing e-commerce initiatives. He stressed that e-commerce initiatives by stake-holders shall be attributed by the fact that most people prefer the ease of access and convenience that comes with e-commerce platforms.

Tariq Sultan, Member Finance, PTA, said that the world is moving towards Internet, and most things in these days are getting digitalized, electronic commerce (e-commerce) has changed the way of trading in almost every sectors of business. He said that electronic banking is today’s need as it provides easy way to monitor an account. Most of the commercial banks in the country switched to the convenience ways in accessing the accounts of the customers and giving them the freedom for the easy access.

Noor Ahmed from SBP said that the e-commerce and financial products reach should be extended to unbanked and underprivileged section of the society. Branchless banking not only provides convenience to those who are fully banked by offering greater access to account information and bank services. At the same time, it allows for greater inclusion of more consumer segments by leveraging technology that brings financial services to underserved populations.

Sirajuddin Aziz said that there is the need to form an environment for financial inclusion. He urged that to convert this idea into a reality, we have to work relentlessly to build an ecosystem for financial inclusion through e-commerce. He stressed the need for strong data analytics system to evaluate the buying pattern of a customer and extend appropriate financial instruments as and when the need arrives.

Emil Wyss, Consul General of Switzerland said that e-commerce is just not about credit cards and debit cards but beyond that with innovations in e-shopping and online order processing, marketing, logistics, customer care and catering to customer facilitation. He urged Pakistani marketers to take steps with regard to e-commerce Future in the country.

SM. Muneer applauded the efforts of Mehmood Tareen for setting up a unique platform and mix of different professionals to discuss potential and prospects of digital advancements in Pakistan. He also discussed the important role of regulators and facilitators in implementing digital and e-commerce advancements. He urged the concerned authorities to form guidelines with due diligence in order to protect the rights of the consumers.

Omer Moeen Malik from Telenor, Shahzad Shahid from TPS, Maaz Ahmed Shamsi from SAP, Ms. Asma Khalil from Daraz, Petocz Karoly from Gemalto, Moonis Rehman from RozeePk, Adam Dawood from Kaymu and Asif Jafri from e-ocean were the other prominent speakers on the occasion. While there were contrasting views on some aspects, all speakers were unanimous on the importance of financial inclusion and its growth.