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Karandaaz signs three agreements to improve International Remittance Solutions under Innovation Challenge Fund

Karandaaz signs three agreements to improve International Remittance Solutions under Innovation Challenge Fund

The country’s leading promoter of financial inclusion, Karandaaz Pakistan has signed agreements worth PKR 148 Million with three prominent players in the international remittance market under the DFID-funded Innovation Challenge Fund. Karandaaz Pakistan launched the first round of the Innovation Challenge Fund (ICF) in September 2016. The ICF is funded by UK Department for International Development (UKAid).  Market players were invited to propose innovative solutions for improving the current international remittance products and services for overseas Pakistanis who send about $19.9 B into Pakistan. Following a rigorous selection process, Karandaaz has signed agreements with three finalists: Telenor Microfinance Bank (previously Tameer Microfinance Bank), Samba Bank & Global Financial Systems (consortium), and Bank Alfalah & Paysys Labs (consortium). The proposed initiatives will receive funding of up to PKR 148 Million. The projects are expected to enable overseas Pakistanis to send money more conveniently and at lower cost and will give implementers an opportunity to enhance financial inclusion by promotion of mobile wallets, bank accounts and other financial services. Speaking at the occasion, CEO Karandaaz Mr. Ali Sarfraz explained that Karandaaz was implementing the DFID-funded Innovation Challenge Fund using a theme based approach where each round has a specific theme linked to a complex challenge. He commended the signatories of ICF Round 1 and appreciated their initiatives to introduce new services in an important market segment. The second round of ICF will launch in May 2017 and will focus on a priority area for Karandaaz Pakistan and DFID, by supporting improved access to technical and financial support for Pakistani women entrepreneurs. In ICF Round 2 Karandaaz will invite applications from incubators, accelerators or similar organizations to propose an innovative mentoring program that caters specifically to female entrepreneurs....

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Choose the best Huawei P Series Device for your Pocket

Choose the best Huawei P Series Device for your Pocket

Huawei P Series is one of the most popular smartphone series by the global tech giant, successfully winning the hearts of millions of tech-savvy customers across the world, who look forward to newer and more innovative features in their devices especially when it comes to camera capabilities. The P series has gone through extensive revolutionary process, with various fascinating devices over the years; P6, P7, P8 and P9. With its latest flagship models Huawei offers multiple devices with ground breaking technology to suit all price brackets. For 30k And Above: The P10 lite has an elegant design and curvatures, with a combination of solid metal and crystal-clear glass; making it beautiful and easy to hold simultaneously. The photography experience is redesigned in the P10 lite; with a 12MP rear camera containing a 1/2.8-inch sensor, an 8MP front camera with a portrait mode; all photos are enhanced with a beautiful ‘bokeh’ effect. This beautiful yet artistic device is available for Rs. 33,999. For 55k And Above: Huawei P10 boasts Leica’s most advanced Dual-Camera 2.0 – a leap forward in camera technology. With the first ever front-facing ‘leica’ camera, the P10 creates timeless portraits and promises every shot to be a cover shot. A hyper diamond cut gives this sleek, beautiful device a glossy finish, all while preventing fingerprint smudges; all for just Rs. 59,999. For 75k And Above: Featuring High Gloss, Hyper Diamond-Cut and Sandblast finish, the P10 Plus looks sleek, beautiful, glossy and elegant, a bigger version of P10 series. This device boast Leica’s most advanced 20MP monochrome &12MP RGB, SUMMILUX-H F/1.8, OIS Dual-Camera 2.0 Pro Edition – a leap forward in camera technology. This powerful device is available for Rs. 79,999. Huawei is rapidly emerging as an innovative industry leader within the electronics and telecommunications arena, aiming to deliver exceptional services to the rapidly expanding segment of smartphone users in Pakistan, who seek powerful global...

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Telenor Microfinance Bank & Inov8 join hands to further promote the mobile financial services industry

Telenor Microfinance Bank & Inov8 join hands to further promote the mobile financial services industry

Telenor Microfinance Bank’s mobile money platform, Easypaisa, and Inov8 Limited have signed a strategic agreement to offer Easypaisa’s vast distribution network to all commercial banks who are signed up with Inov8 technology.  The agreement was signed by the President & CEO Telenor Microfinance Bank, Ali Riaz Chaudhry and Co-Founder and Co-CEO Inov8 Limited Bashir Sheikh, in presence of respective management teams. Under the agreement, Telenor Microfinance Bank has licensed Inov8 Limited’s latest financial technology product, i8 ServiceBus (i8-SB), which will allow the mobile financial services provider to integrate with all Inov8 Limited deployments, offering their industry leading agent network for use by other banking players. The first bank has already been integrated as part of the implementation with others to follow soon. Easypaisa has the largest agent network across Pakistan, while Inov8 Limited has the most widely deployed technology in the country for mobile and branchless banking, making this a natural synergy that can help the industry grow. Sharing his thoughts at the signing ceremony, Ali Riaz Chaudhry, President & CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank, said: “Easypaisa’s mission is to provide the underbanked of the world with instant access to relevant, convenient and affordable financial services. In that respect we are delighted to partner with Innov8’s cutting edge technology used by multiple Banks. This is our way of showing that Easypaisa, world’s largest bank-led mobile money program, supports all Commercial Banks in offering their customers the country’s largest distribution network. Together, we can empower our societies much faster.” Bashir Sheikh, Co-Founder and Co-CEO Inov8 Limited, stated: “We created i8-SB to allow seamless integration between MFS platforms. One of the biggest use cases in our market is connecting new branchless and digital banking players to agent networks. We are proud to have the largest agent network in the country, and one of the largest MFS providers in the world, Easypaisa, as a...

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Gree Features Mr & Mrs Akram in its new TV Commercial

Gree Features Mr & Mrs Akram in its new TV Commercial

GREE – a globally leading brand of air-conditioning technology has introduced a new campaign of the G10 Inverter series, featuring Mr  & Mrs Wasim Akram. This campaign sheds lights on the extremely energy-efficient G10 Inverter technology and its unique features, whereby living up to its tag-line ‘Chalta Jaye, Sath Nibhaye”. This is for the first time that Mrs Waseem Akram which is an Australian Born, named Shaniera Akram has arrived for any commercial in Pakistan. Mr & Mrs Akram have endorsed Gree as the best of the best brand for air conditioners. The TVC is primarily focused on the highly energy-efficient smart-inverter Air conditioner – G10, which ensures the best cooling, even in low-voltage. The G10 Inverter AC’s are equipped with an Auto-Voltage Adaptation of 150 – 260 Volts, eliminating the threats of low-voltage fluctuation which damages the AC. It has an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 4.0, whereby consuming 60% less energy than the regular ACs. GREE has a wide range of Air conditioners, available in a range of attractive designs, colours and features, which are guaranteed to ensure the best performance. In Pakistan, DWP Group is the official distributor of GREE that ensures nationwide availability of its...

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Huawei Smartphone Shipments up 21.6% year-on-year in Q1 2017

Huawei Smartphone Shipments up 21.6% year-on-year in Q1 2017

Today, Huawei Consumer Business Group announced that in Q1 2017, it shipped 34.55 million Smartphones, this amounts to a year-on-year increase of 21.6%. According to IDC, Huawei’s global smartphone market share further increased to 9.8%, consolidating its position in the top three smartphone vendors in the world. In Q1 2017, Huawei achieved breakthrough growth in many countries. Its smartphone shipments increased by over 50% year-on-year in 52 countries, 32 of which saw growth of over 100%. In China and Europe, Huawei smartphone shipments maintained robust growth of 20% and 15% respectively. Meanwhile, in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, smartphone shipments increase over 70% . In addition, significant growth was achieved in the high-end smartphone sector, boosted by the global sales of the HUAWEI P9 series and HUAWEI Mate 9, further demonstrating Huawei’s increased influence as a global high-end brand. In Q1, the proportion of middle and high range (2000 RMB or above $300) smartphone increased 11% on the same period last year. According to GfK, for the global high-end market of 500 USD and above, Huawei held 9.7% market share in February 2017, reaching 10% in 9 countries, including China, Spain, Italy, Thailand, Malaysia, South Africa, Poland and other key markets. The latest HUAWEI P10 series flagship smartphone, which is now available in over 30 markets since its launch on February 26, 2017, is gaining huge popularity among consumers all over the world thanks to the outstanding photography experience it provides. Huawei is also confounding the sluggish sales of the overall tablet market. Huawei’s tablet business has grown significantly in both the enterprise and consumer spaces with shipments rising over 70% year-on-year. “Thanks to the growing global recognition of Huawei products and the Huawei brand, Huawei Consumer Business Group’s influence has further increased as a high-end brand in Q1 2017,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group. “Moving forward, Huawei Consumer Business Group will be focused on improving customer service, and building up its presence within sales channels, retail, branding, marketing, services and other sectors, to proactively streamline operations enhance the overall customer experience. Meanwhile, Huawei Consumer Business Group will continue to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) products and innovations. These will provide users with excellent experiences and cement Huawei as a leader in emerging technologies while establishing the company as a cultural technology brand loved by consumers the world...

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Telenor Pakistan partners with QMobile for larger 4G penetration in the country

Telenor Pakistan partners with QMobile for larger 4G penetration in the country

Staying committed to its mission of promoting digital inclusion and strengthening the mobile broadband ecosystem in the country, Telenor Pakistan has entered into a partnership with Pakistan’s top-selling mobile phone brand QMobile. The MOU was signed between Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO, Telenor Pakistan, and Zeeshan Akhtar, CEO, Q Mobile during an MOU signing ceremony at a local hotel in Islamabad. The partnership entails both parties working together to develop and promote a robust digital ecosystem in Pakistan where industry’s best digital products and services are served to their mutual customer base. A major highlight of the partnership is that all new and upcoming QMobile 4G smartphones will support Telenor’s superior 4G networks’ 850 MHz band. This will enable Telenor customers with the best internet experience on their QMobile devices. In addition, both companies plan to cooperate on other avenues of strategic importance such as device ecosystem, digital platforms & payment solution developments. “Our partnership with QMobile is of major significance as we continue our journey toward a digital Pakistan,” said Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO, Telenor Pakistan, while sharing his thoughts on the development. “Telenor is Pakistan’s foremost digital lifestyle partner and is continuously striving for larger penetration of mobile broadband across the country. Our association with Pakistan’s top-selling mobile brand will enable us to deliver our best-in-class 4G services to QMobile’s massive nationwide clientele, besides helping us reach our digital inclusion goals,” he added. “The partnership seems natural as both QMobile and Telenor Pakistan share the ambition to empower the Pakistani society and equip them with the tools to excel in today’s fast paced digital arena,” said Zeeshan Akhtar, CEO, QMobile. “As we are striving to build and promote a strong smartphone ecosystem in the country, together, QMobile and Telenor will make technology and cellular services more affordable and accessible for the Pakistani masses,” he...

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Telenor Velocity team with their mentors and startups

Telenor Velocity team with their mentors and startups

Telenor Velocity held a two day Startup Meet for its startups of Cohort 2 in Islamabad last week. There was an excellent lineup of mentors including Experts, Founders and Representatives from Facebook, Careem, Crickout, MangoBaaz, Convo, Finja, Taazi and Chaaye Khaana with discussions  on customer acquisition, growth hacking, product-market fit, investment and sustainability. Picture shows Telenor Velocity team with their mentors and...

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Telenor Pakistan celebrates ‘Girls in ICT Day’, stresses increased role of young women in the ICT sector

Telenor Pakistan celebrates ‘Girls in ICT Day’, stresses increased role of young women in the ICT sector

To encourage Pakistani girls to prepare themselves for opportunities offered by the booming ICT sector, Telenor Pakistan celebrated the ‘International Girls in ICT Day’ where it held an awareness session for female students of class 8 to 10 at GSIS School and College, Islamabad, followed by setting-up of an ICT lab at Hamara School, a private school cum orphanage in the outskirts of Islamabad. Telenor Pakistan celebrates ‘Girls In ICT Day’. The picture shows: Christopher Laska – Chairman Telenor Pakistan Board, Tahir Mushtaq – Member (HRD) MoIT, Haaris Chaudhary – Company Secretary USF, and Quratulainali Rizvi – Principal GSIS School and College, along with the students. The purpose of the awareness session was to educate young girls on the importance of pursuing higher education in math, engineering, computing, and sciences so they are prepared to land bright career opportunities that the ICT sector has to offer. The young students were informed that ICT companies across the world are looking to attract and promote women, not only because achieving greater workforce diversity is good for business, but also because increasing women at all levels has shown positive impacts on the companies’ financial performance. Two Telenor Pakistan female employees also trained schoolgirls on using the internet safely for fun and learning. “We at Telenor Pakistan believe in an inclusive working environment and encourage women to prepare themselves to benefit from the opportunities ICT sector holds for them,” said Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO, Telenor Pakistan. “The representation of women in all of our initiatives from employment opportunities to mentoring entrepreneurs and youth empowerment measures is something we never compromise on.” Telenor Pakistan, being the country’s leading ICT player and a catalyst of ICT-powered digital revolution, has a clear view of where the sector is headed and what it lacks most – the unequivocal answers being ‘immense growth’ and ‘women’ respectively. The company believes that a more gender-balanced ICT sector will offer fulfilling mid- and high-level careers, and enable highly talented women to springboard to the top of the career ladder. Telenor supports United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular the SDG 5 that is aimed at achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls through, Information and Communication Technologies. The observance of ITU’s ‘Girls in ICT Day’ was an extension of the organization’s efforts to support that very SDG and promote women’s inclusion in the mainstream employment...

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Telenor Microfinance Bank’s Easypaisa services available at Utility Stores nationwide

Telenor Microfinance Bank’s Easypaisa services available at Utility Stores nationwide

In a first-of-its-kind partnership, Telenor Microfinance Bank joins hands with Utility Stores Corporation (USC) to make its mobile money service, Easypaisa, available at Utility Stores nationwide. The agreement was signed in Islamabad between Ali Riaz Chaudhry – President & CEO Telenor Microfinance Bank, and Waseem Mukhtar Chaudhary – Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation, in the presence of respective management teams. This partnership is in line with Telenor Microfinance Bank’s ambition to revolutionize Pakistan’s financial landscape and extend the benefits of mobile money to the under-banked people in the country. USC is a state-owned, largest retail chain store enterprise in Pakistan, providing basic commodities at low rates to the masses. Commencing with 50 stores in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, the project will gradually expand to over 5,000 Utility Stores spread across the country. Speaking on the occasion, Ali Riaz Chaudhry, President & CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank said, “We are the proud pioneers of mobile money with 9.2 million mobile account customers in Pakistan. This alliance is a continuation of our industry-first initiatives. We are delighted to offer further convenience and ease of access for all Easypaisa customers. Going forward, we plan on extending the partnership to include services like Till Payments, G2P Disbursements, Lending/Loan Repayments and Insurance Payments.” Also adding, Waseem Mukhtar Chaudhary, Managing Director, USC said, “Being the largest retail chain in Pakistan, we want to deliver greater variety and convenience to our customers which this partnership with Telenor Bank will help us achieve. We respect Telenor Bank’s financial inclusion goals and are proud to be a part of the cause that aims to bring ease to millions of underserved lives.” Nearly 650,000 transactions are conducted on Telenor Microfinance Bank’s mobile banking platform ‘Easypaisa’ everyday by 20 million active customers. In pursuit of Telenor Microfinance Bank’s financial inclusion goals, the organization embarks the untapped and underutilized retail segments to make services comprehensively accessible to everyone. The arrangement with USC will further increase financial access as it would provide agent proximity for...

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Karandaaz Invites FinTech Startups to Pitch Ideas for 2nd Disrupt Challenge 2017

Karandaaz Invites FinTech Startups to Pitch Ideas for  2nd Disrupt Challenge 2017

Pakistan’s leading promoter of financial inclusion and associated technology, Karandaaz has announced the 2nd edition of its FinTech Disrupt Challenge 2017 (#FDC2017) with IBA AMAN Centre for Entrepreneurial Development as venue partner. Karandaaz is inviting FinTech startups to pitch their innovative ideas and vie for a funding support of up to $100,000. The competition aims to support innovation in the FinTech space to enable greater financial inclusion by means of identifying and supporting best and most innovative practices in terms of digital payment solutions, access to financial services, eCommerce and interoperability solutions. On the basis of thematic areas of the Challenge, two grants of up to $100,000 and five grants of up to $20,000 will be given to the start-ups having high growth potential and groundbreaking financial technology solutions. Ideas that focus on greater access of women to financial services are especially encouraged in #FDC2017. “We are pleased to announce the 2nd installment of our FinTech Disrupt Challenge collaboratively with IBA AMAN CED as our venue partner,” said Rehan Akhtar, Director Digital Financial Services, Karandaaz Pakistan. “We encourage young FinTech startups with limited financial assets from across Pakistan to apply and pitch their innovative ideas that carry the potential to revolutionize the country’s financial landscape. As is the tradition at Karandaaz, solutions that cater to women’s financial inclusion are highly encouraged for #FDC2017,” he added. As the focus of the Challenge is to scout disruptive FinTech innovations from all over the country, any registered company, start-up or a start-up team based in Pakistan is encouraged to apply for the competition. Applications can be submitted online latest by May 9, 2017. Shortlisted applicants will pitch their ideas on the Day of the Challenge on May 20, 2017. Click here for more information on the eligibility criteria. In pursuit of its mission of promoting greater access to financial services in the country, Karandaaz Pakistan organized the country’s first FinTech Disrupt Challenge in November 2016 collaboratively with LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship (LCE). Out of the 28 shortlisted startups, 3 won funding support of $100,000...

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Telenor accelerates Digital Innovation through Open-APIs by partnering with Google & AbacusConsulting

Telenor accelerates Digital Innovation through Open-APIs by partnering with Google & AbacusConsulting

APIs have now become a key must-have strategy component for enterprises. According to a report, the global API management market size is estimated to grow from USD 606.8 million in 2016 to USD 2,665.3 million by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 34.4%. Telenor Pakistan is the first telecom operator to launch an intelligent API management solution of Google in partnership with AbacusConsulting. The Go-Live ceremony of API Gateway Project was held at Telenor Headquarters, Islamabad where Managing Director of AbacusConsulting Mr. Abbas Ali Khan and CEO of Telenor Pakistan Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan were present along with the leadership of both sides. API Gateway Project has enabled Telenor Pakistan to launch its own portal for a developer community and/or connect with the existing ecosystem to manage, share and promote its APIs in a secure and scalable environment. APIs are the most important technology in digital business design and one of the examples is Telenor’s recent launch of Direct Carrier Billing through which customers can purchase any app from Google Play by using their mobile balance. This innovative service has been helping the unbanked users to make purchases without having a bank account or credit card. The new payment option will allow customers to access more content of their interest and will also nurture the local app developer economy by incentivizing them to build for the local market. Through this project, Abacus and Google support Telenor’s mission of digitizing future. On the occasion, Mr. Abbas Ali Khan, Managing Director, AbacusConsulting, said, “APIs allowed Expedia to grow 90% of its $2 billion business and Twitter to have more than 700 mobile apps using its data. If we have a look at all the digital natives like Facebook & Google, we will find one thing common i.e. APIs-led approach which helped them generating new business models, new revenue streams, new partnerships and nurtured its innovative offerings to customers.” He congratulated Telenor Pakistan on achieving a significant milestone in Digital Transformation and being a pioneer in creating the developer and partner community. Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO, Telenor Pakistan, stated, “Telenor Pakistan is at the forefront of the digital revolution and this implementation has developed an ecosystem of digital innovation to help us build new distribution channels. Now developers can work directly with operators and expand their reach to a massive pool of subscribers and consumers can benefit from our apps which will drive higher performance, better security and easier billing from operator services.” Abacus and Google will continue to help organizations adapt faster in the digital world and build digitally enabled...

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The wait is over, Get Ready to Meet the Selfie Superstar – Huawei P10 Lite

The wait is over, Get Ready to Meet the Selfie Superstar – Huawei P10 Lite

Huawei, the leading telecommunications company has yet again changed the game with the launch of its latest device – Huawei P10 Lite in Pakistan. With a 12MP rear camera containing a 1/2.8-inch sensor, an 8MP front camera with a level portrait mode; the P10 lite is truly the ‘SELFIE SUPERSTAR’. The Huawei P10 lite is truly the most affordable choice for selfie lovers which satisfies the call of fashion enthusiasts wanting an affordable yet powerful device. P10 lite is also enriched with an all-new flagship level Portrait Mode which supports the front camera to detect human faces while creating a fantastic bokeh effect in the background. In this way, an aesthetic and stylish selfie can be taken by a simple tap. The P10 lite is the first-ever phone in the lite series to boast proprietary knuckle sense technology, enabling easy shortcuts by tapping/drawing on the screen with knuckles, and simplifying full-page screenshots with simple knuckle gestures. The Wi-Fi Bridge is another innovative function in the P10 lite, supporting a Wi-Fi signal for up to four terminal devices. This flagship device has 5 sensors; fingerprint, gravity, optical, distance and a gyroscope. The P10 lite has an elegant set of straight lines and curvatures, along with a combination of solid metal and crystal-clear glass; the P10 lite’s 2.5D double-sided curved glass on top of its 5.2-inch FHD screen includes a slight slope on the surface, making it beautiful and easy to hold simultaneously. Customers can now purchase the P10 lite by visiting their nearest Huawei authorized outlet for just Rs. 33,999. The P10 lite is enriched with EMUI 5.1 which improves touch response with a faster touch control driver and predictive touch tracking. Powered by the Kirin 658 processor, the P10 lite features a 16nm chipset and an Octa-core CPU with a clock rate of up to 2.36GHz, which helps reduce power consumption, boost performance and create an overall better user experience. Integrating the design values and engineering excellence of Huawei, the P10 lite is truly a blend of attractive hardware, enriched with the most advanced...

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