Islamabad: (Ch Mudassar Iqbal) As part of the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion (CEOP), Pakistan’s leading financial institution, PepsiCo the leading food and Beverage Company, and Telenor Microfinance Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the launch of Merchant to Distributor payments. The two companies signed the contract in the presence of H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). She visits Pakistan for three days to discuss the importance of safe and affordable access to financial services to improve the economic lives of people. Senior officials from both organizations were also present at the signing.
Under the agreement, the two companies collaborate to provide greater access to easy and affordable financial services for the underserved retail segment by digitizing retail value-chain via Easypaisa, Telenor Microfinance Bank’s digital payments platform. In the pilot phase the companies are testing the service to support PepsiCo distributor-merchant payments. This facility aims to provide a convenient method that allows distributors to send and receive payments easily.
Sharing his view on the occasion, Mr. Furqan Ahmed Syed, CEO, PepsiCo Pakistan & Afghanistan, said: “We are proud to be partnering on the CEOP initiative in Pakistan. Access to digital finance for all is clearly in the interest of companies and its partners and it resonates closely with the PepsiCo vision of Winning with Purpose.”
Mohammad Mudassar Aqil, President, and CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank expressed the following views about the initiative at the ceremony: “We welcome UN Special Advocate Queen Máxima on her visit to the country. Pakistan in the last few years has done a lot to promote financial inclusion in the society. Easypaisa was the first mobile wallet in Pakistan and it has transformed the way a large part of the population performs financial transactions. We are proud to expand our services into the corporate sector and partner with a corporation like PepsiCo which has an extensive number of distributors spread across the country.”
The CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion (CEOP) is an informal private-private partnership of ten international businesses from various sectors on a CEO level convened for the first time in January 2018 by the UNSGSA. Its aim is to exchange knowledge and experience and step up cooperation in the area of financial inclusion and also expand the market potential of the businesses. The CEOP paved the way for this Merchant to Distributor payments arrangement between Telenor Microfinance Bank and PepsiCo. (https://www.unsgsa.org/resources/news/leading-ceos-share-experiences-private-private-partnerships)
Before witnessing the signing ceremony, Queen Máxima visited a distribution center of PepsiCo where she met a distributor and three merchants who have been part of this pilot project. She also interacted with a merchant at his shop and conversed with him about challenges that he faces during his daily financial transactions and while availing credit sources.