Karachi: Karandaaz Pakistan in conjunction with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a member of the World Bank group, held a one-day workshop titled Digital Analytics and Credit: Resources to Plan a Deployment at the Marriott Hotel in Karachi.
Facilitated by Mr. Jamal Rahal, an internationally renowned expert in digital finance analytics and credit scoring, and Mr. Gregory Chen, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP, the aim of the day-long workshop was to provide participants with a detailed introduction to digital credit essentials, opportunities and requirements. The workshop was attended by a number of key industry players from the digital financial services sector, including telecom companies, banks, microfinance banks and FinTechs.
Moderated discussions throughout the day enabled participants to develop a deep understanding of the design and delivery of digital credit services, and learn about useful tools that aid the development of digital credit products. The workshop also included a session shedding light on a range of digital credit deployments around the world. Key components of the workshop included credit scoring, IT infrastructure requirements, financial projections and partnership models. Participants were also led through the steps in designing a digital credit pilot.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Joanna Reid, Head of Office, Department for International Development (DFID) Pakistan stated, “Digital credit is a highly specialized subject and it is a moment of pride to see Karandaaz team working at the forefront of digital financial innovation in Pakistan. We at DFID see financial inclusion as a cornerstone for development – not just for generating growth, but for creating better lives for the poorest and marginalized in society – opening the door for cash transfers, savings and insurance and thus funds to spend on education, health, and a better living environment.”
In his keynote address, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Karandaaz Pakistan, said“ Pakistan needs innovation in digital financial space to further the goal of 50% financial inclusion by 2020 as set by the State Bank of Pakistan. The workshop provides a useful platform for key branchless banking industry players to come together and understand the importance of digital credit, its successful deployment as well as future scale-up. I would like to thank CGAP in particular for bringing international best practices to Pakistan and for sharing their experience in implementing digital credit in other markets.”
Mr. Imdad Aslam, Director Digital Financial Services and Interim CEO, Karandaaz Pakistan spoke of the importance of viable digital lending models in his closing remarks and said, “Products such as M-Shwari present great opportunity for people to save money securely and access short-term loans that were previously unavailable to them. If used properly, digital credit services can help financial institutions and providers in Pakistan make credit decisions quickly, thereby enabling underserved communities in Pakistan to obtain loans without lengthy procedures and requirements. At the same time, there is no need for in-person visits to bank branches, and loans can be disbursed or returned easily through remote access.”
Ms. Samar Hasan, Senior Manager, Communications at Karandaaz Pakistan added, “Karandaaz Pakistan has a strong commitment towards financial inclusion of the unserved and underserved populations of the country. By organizing this workshop with our technical partner, CGAP, we hope to provide impetus to the industry in responsibly designing and delivering products to benefit these segments of society.”