Alipay, a China-based third-party mobile and digital platform by Alibaba, has decided to start working in Pakistan by the end of this year said Irfan Wahab Khan, the Telenor Chief Executive Officer.
At the moment, ant Financial, the parent company of Alipay is going through the process of seeking approval from State Bank of Pakistan and Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to pave the way for international payment gateways to enter in Pakistan.
As we all know that Pakistan has entered into the digital era with the arrival of 3G/4G technology and soon the 5G services as well, the need for international digital payment system is the need of the hour. Meanwhile, when mobile phone service has made its way to 72% of the population, according to the latest data available with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), future economic growth will depend on the online payments services.
Furthermore, Pakistan has 58 million broadband subscribers including 56 million 3G/4G subscribers, while e-commerce market is also keeping up pace estimated to be $1 billion.
Irfan Wahab Khan is also a board member of the Telenor Microfinance Bank in which Ant Financial, acquired a 45% stake at an investment of $184.5 million in March 2018. He said, “The opportunity exists in data, digital payments and e-commerce.”
Recently, Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant has expanded its reach in Pakistan by acquiring Daraz.pk which is the first biggest tech acquisition in the country.
On the other hand, Telenor also has a 23% market share in the Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) market, after Jazz (34%) and Zong (29%) and the mobile company is also looking forward to expanding broadband penetration in the country which has been slowed since last 5 years.