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VimpelCom and Dhabi Group announce completion of Mobilink and Warid Merger

VimpelCom and Dhabi Group announce completion of  Mobilink and Warid Merger

VimpelCom, Global Telecom Holding (GTH), together with Warid Telecom Pakistan and Bank Alfalah (Dhabi Group shareholders), today announced the completion of the transaction to merge Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (Mobilink) and Warid Telecom (Warid), creating Pakistan’s next generation digital telecommunications provider. Over 50 million customers in Pakistan will benefit from high-speed mobile telecommunications and a best-in-class digital mobile network. The combined Mobilink and Warid entity will be the leading telecommunications provider of 2G, 3G and LTE services in Pakistan, providing higher quality national voice and data coverage, faster downloads, and a wider portfolio of products and services. Jean-Yves Charlier, Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom, said: “VimpelCom continues to make significant progress against its transformation program. This market consolidation represents a further step in our strategy to strengthen our position in the markets in which we operate. As the VimpelCom Group focuses on an ambitious digital transformation, we are investing in revolutionizing our technology core and product portfolio. We look forward to bringing innovative new products and services to our customers in Pakistan.” Chairman of Dhabi Group, His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, said: “I am very happy that we have arrived at this milestone today which marks a unique moment for the Pakistan telecom sector. It is very positive news for Pakistan’s economy. The Dhabi Group remains committed to Pakistan and its economic progress and I would like to thank all the relevant authorities for their support in closing this transaction. I am confident that together, the combined businesses will continue to deliver excellence to their customers while contributing positively to the business environment in Pakistan.” Mobilink and Warid will benefit from VimpelCom’s USD 1 billion (1) investment into building one of the largest and most ambitious IT infrastructures in the industry. The Group’s new digital systems will enable faster roll-out of new local products and services, particularly in the areas of mobile entertainment, communications, the Internet of Things, and mobile financial services. Through this, Pakistan’s digital development will be elevated to the next level, further reducing the digital divide. VimpelCom, GTH and Dhabi Group announced the agreement to combine their Pakistan telecommunication businesses on 26 November 2015. The completion of the transaction follows regulatory approval (2) from all the relevant authorities and the subsequent exchange of shares. Mobilink has completed the acquisition of 100 percent of Warid’s shares, and the Dhabi Group Shareholders have acquired 15 percent of the shares of Mobilink (3). With the completion of the merger transaction, Mobilink now enters the next major phase of its transformation and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Hedberg will hand over the CEO role of Mobilink and Warid to Aamir Ibrahim, currently Chief Commercial...

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Mobilink Foundation is helping women study in KPK Region

Mobilink Foundation is helping women study in KPK Region

  Mobilink Foundation, under its ‘Make Your Mark’ initiative, has teamed up with The Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) and GuarantCo for ‘SMS-based Adult Female Literacy Programme’, which is enabling learners to receive ICT based education in close proximity to their homes. Through this initiative, Mobilink Foundation with its partners is educating around 4,050 women in eight rural districts of KPK, including Mardan, Swabi, Nowshera, Malakand, Haripur, Mansehra, Kohat and Buner. “Our m-Literacy project started with 250 female learners, and as of now, it has changed the lives of more than 10,000 women across the country. Success of the program is based on the utilization of mobile as an educational tool, enabling us to reach areas without any formal schooling systems. Another factor is the customised curriculum for sustained and practical learning, which gains interest of the learners. The focus of our program is on facilitating these women to manage domestic finances in a better manner and play a more productive role at community, family and individual levels,” said Omar Manzur, Head of Corporate Communications – Mobilink. “The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has reiterated their full support for this program, and will facilitate with the on-ground execution of the initiative” he further added. Since community mobilisation was deemed a cornerstone to make this initiative sustainable, Mobilink Foundation’s partner I-SAPS created ‘Village Education Support Committees’ throughout the eight districts, whose members include respected elders and influential individuals. As a result, I-SAPS not only had an all-out community support in identification of teachers and learners in each of the 154 villages, but also managed to establish 160 easily-accessible Adult Literacy Centres, where adult females of ages between 15 and 35 have been enrolled and imparted basic literacy skills. “Given the traditional constraints in the KPK province, our success has been dependant on navigating through the cultural barriers effectively by community mobilisation and the innovation of infusing literacy with ICT in the close proximity of the learners’ homes,” said Ahmed Ali, Senior Research Fellow – I-SAPS. Under the ‘SMS-based Adult Female Literacy Programme’, learners gain some level of literacy during their five-month basic literacy coursework along with the provision of a mobile phone in order to practice and further develop their newly acquired skills. The ‘Make Your Mark’ initiative is a key element ofVimpelCom’s corporate responsibility strategy, with the objective of ‘Helping young people shape their future’.  It aims to provide young people with technology tools, support and mentoring, and in some cases access to basic education, to help them tackle these challenges at an individual, community and national level – to shape their...

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Mobicash (Mobilink) Becomes First Mobile Financial Services Provider to Offer NFC Payment Solutions in Pakistan

Mobicash (Mobilink) Becomes First Mobile Financial Services Provider to Offer NFC Payment Solutions in Pakistan

Mobilink Pakistan has stepped up a notch and have become the first mobile financial services provider (MFS) to launch Near Field Communication (NFC) payments on vending machines for its esteemed mobile account users after signing an agreement with Batwa and Wavetec. Through this collaboration, Mobicash users will be able to purchase items from Wavetec’s NFC enabled vending machines which are to be installed at various places around the country. As a pilot, this facility will be available at the Mobilink premises for employees. After a successful trial period, the facility will be available to Mobicash Mobile Account holders. This first of its kind initiative is another step in Mobicash’s vision for a secure and reliable cashless ecosystem in the near future. To launch the NFC payments mechanism, a signing ceremony was held in Islamabad, attended by Ms. Aniqa Afzal Sandhu, Director Mobile Financial services – Mobilink, Adnan Asdar, Director – Batwa, Sajid Farooqi, CEO – Batwa, Ahmed Fraz, CEO – Wavetec, and Saim Ehtesham, HOD – Vendi. Speaking about this first of its kind innovative offering, Aniqa Afzal Sandhu stated, “NFC based payment solutions open up a unique opportunity to enable our 1.5 million strong Mobicash mobile account user family to use NFC technology to pay for day to day transactions, starting with these NFC based vending machines. As a promoter of branchless banking in the country with a vision to bridge the prevalent divide between the banked and unbanked population, we believe rapid growth of NFC based payment solutions is for the benefit of a cashless ecosystem. The next step in this cashless ecosystem revolution is the launch of our NFC enabled retail payment solutions across Pakistan. We would like to thank Batwa and Wavetec for jointly assisting us in the development of an efficient and customized solution for our customers.” Adding his thoughts on the need for more NFC based payment solutions, Ahmed Fraz said, “Pakistan has great potential for a NFC based payment ecosystem, especially since MFS accounts for a great amount of financial activity amongst the large unbanked population. Such solutions will offer greater benefits to the consumers, retailers and cashless banking sector in the country.”  Adnan Asdar further added “I would like to congratulate the entire Mobilink, Wavetec, Vendi and Batwa teams on successfully collaborating to launch this project; a big step towards creating a cash lite eco-system.  Its success will emphasize the importance of an agnostic infrastructure for accelerating financial inclusion and bringing down the cost of doing business for all stakeholders.” To use this innovative payment solution, Mobicash users will input their mobile number to acquire an NFC tag, payment for which will be deducted from their...

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Mobicash and Khushhalibanklimited Sign Payments Solution Agreement

Mobicash and Khushhalibanklimited Sign Payments Solution Agreement

Islamabad – 24th February, 2015 – Mobicash, the fastest growing mobile financial service provider and an initiative of Mobilink and Waseela Microfinance Bank Limited, signed an agreement with Khushhalibanklimited, one of the leading microfinance institutions of the country, in order to provide payment facilitation services to the unbanked and under banked markets in Pakistan. The signing ceremony was attended by Aniqa Afzal Sandhu, Director Mobile Financial Services, Mobicash, Ghazanfar Azzam, President, Waseela Microfinance Bank Limited and Ghalib Nishtar, President, Khushhalibanklimited.  In Pakistan, the conventional banking sector serves less than 20% of the population. It is with this in mind that Mobilink developed Mobicash, a mobile financial services platform, to provide basic banking services to the masses through retail agents. This partnering will expand Khushhalibanklimited’s network, allowing rural areas to make payments with ease and regularity.  Aniqa Afzal Sandhu speaking about the MoU said; “There is ample opportunity to utilize Mobicash platform to serve the marginalized community in Pakistan which makes Mobile Financial Services an ideal retail banking channel. In Pakistan, the conventional banking sector serves less than 20% of the population. This agreement to provide our services to Khushhali Bank’s network allows us to target the rural population of Pakistan.”  Moving forward, Khushhalibanklimited and Mobicash see significant opportunities for rapidly expanding microfinance and SME finance facilities through leverage of modern technologies to achieve efficiency and transactional conveniences to the target market segment. Both Khushhalibanklimited and Mobicash are market leaders within their industry.  Khushhalibanklimited was established in 2000 with a poverty alleviation agenda to provide microfinance services to the poor, particularly women, through community-based social mobilization. The existing network of KBL comprises of 118 branches spread across Pakistan, which is the largest geographic spread by any Microfinance entity in...

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Mobicash to Disburse Bait-ul-Mal Payments

Mobicash to Disburse Bait-ul-Mal Payments

Islamabad: 19th February, 2015 – Mobicash has signed an agreement to disburse payments on behalf of Pakistan Bait ul Mal Child Support Programme (CSP). Under the project, Mobicash will make disbursements to more than 40,000 CSP beneficiaries across the country. Agreement signing ceremony was attended by Bilal Sheikh Vice President Mobilink, Aniqa Afzal Sandhu Director Mobile Financial Services, Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh Managing Director Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal and Mr. Aslam Chaudhary Deputy Managing Director Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal amongst other team members. In the first phase, the project has been rolled out in District Khairpur which will be expanded in several parts of the country. Mobicash in partnership with Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal has digitized these payments through their biometric based verification system.  Each disbursement will be made against the CNIC’s of the beneficiaries, who will enjoy the ease and flexibility of withdrawing their funds after biometric verification by visiting Mobicash shop. Aniqa Afzal Sandhu Director Mobile Financial Services, Mobilink speaking about the partnership said; “There is ample opportunity to utilize Mobicash platform to serve the marginalized community in Pakistan which makes Mobile Financial Services an ideal funds disbursement channel. Facilitating the Bait-ul-Mal disbursements project is part of our efforts to accelerate social-uplift ventures while ensuring transparent and swift transaction methods. We have customized our solutions to meet the needs of this project and hope that it will bring convenience in executing the CSP...

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Mobilink & NBP MoU Join Hands

Mobilink & NBP MoU Join Hands

MOU Signing Ceremony between National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Pakistan Mobile Communications Ltd. (Mobilink) and Waseela Microfinance Bank Ltd. (WMBL) Islamabad: February 20, 2015 – NBP has taken a new initiative and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Pakistan Mobile Communication Ltd. (Mobilink) and Waseela Microfinance Bank Ltd (WMBL) during a graceful ceremony held at Mobilink House, Islamabad. Under this arrangement Mobilink-PMCL, WMBL and NBP have agreed to enter into this MOU for the provision of Mobicash Services by WMBL to NBP, using Mobilink-PMCL’s network, for the purpose of facilitating payments under Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans. According to this group based model, the borrowers obtaining loans from NBP shall repay their loan installments by visiting their nearest Mobicash outlet. This facility will be offered to the prospective applicants seeking loans under the Prime Minister Youth Business Loan Scheme (PMYBL). It will facilitate the borrowers of PMYBL Scheme for loan disbursements as well as ease of repayment through the Mobicash facility of WMBL. NBP has entered into this arrangement with Mobilink to implement the distribution channel strategy used for delivering financial services with branchless banking solution of Mobicash as a separate channel strategy that will assist the 80% of the population of Pakistan that is either under banked or unbanked. The representatives of National Bank at this MOU Signing ceremony were Mr. Mudassir H. Khan – SEVP & Group Chief, Commercial & Retail Banking Group (C&RBG), Mr. S. H. Irtiza Kazmi – EVP & Coordinator – PMYBL, C&RBG, Ms. Nageen Rizvi – VP & Unit Head Marketing & Promotions PMYBL, C&RBG. From Mobilink – PMCL Mr. Bilal Munir Sheikh-Chief Commercial Officer, Ms. Aniqa Afzal-Director Mobile Financial Services-Mobilink were present. And on behalf of Waseela Microfinance Bank Limited, Mr. Ghazanfar Azaam-President/CEO Waseela Microfinance Bank Limited and Mr. Farooq Rashid-Head of Branchless Banking were present. Speaking to media NBP’s Senior Executive Vice President and Group Chief – Commercial & Retail Banking Group, Mr. Mudassir Khan said, “The bank was making determined efforts to diversify its alliances in different business segments to facilitate PMYBL Scheme borrowers. This will contribute further towards the success of the Prime Minister Youth Business Loan Scheme.” He further said that in any economy, Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) stimulate domestic demand through job creation, innovation, and competition; thus, they can be a driving force behind a resilient and sustainable economic growth. Therefore, prioritizing SME development is critical for promoting inclusive economic growth in most economies. Adequate access to finance is crucial for SMEs to survive and eventually graduate beyond their SME status. Mr. Irtiza Kazmi, EVP & Coordinator, PMYBL said “NBP leads as “The Nation’s Bank” by turning a vision into...

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