Mobilink Bank by VEON Becomes the First Microfinance Bank to Join the GSMA Connected Women Commitment Initiative on a Global Scale

Business Tech and Telecom

VEON Ltd, a global digital operator that provides converged connectivity and online services, has announced that Mobilink Microfinance Bank Ltd. (MMBL), its banking operation in Pakistan, has become the first microfinance bank in the world to sign up to the GSMA Connected Women Commitment Initiative. This initiative was set up in 2016 to accelerate digital and financial inclusion for women across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Over 40 mobile operators have made formal commitments since the inception of the Commitment Initiative, and they have collectively reached over 55 million additional women with mobile internet and mobile money services.

MMBL will leverage its extensive operations across Pakistan to further the aim of the GSMA’s Connected Women Commitment Initiative. It has more than 16 million monthly active customers across Pakistan, 100+ branches, and over 200,000 branchless banking agents. The bank will encourage the adoption of digital technology amongst women to foster their financial inclusion. It aims to increase the proportion of female customer base by 15%, adding 600,000 customers by 2025.

Kaan Terzioglu, CEO of VEON Group, stated that “female microentrepreneurs are key to Pakistan’s successful future and the GSMA is rightly focusing on them.” Through its existing strong relationships with women across Pakistan, and its close relationship with Jazz Pakistan- VEON’s telco arm, MMBL is perfectly positioned to deliver on the ambitions of the GSMA’s Connected Women Commitment Initiative.

MMBL joins several mobile operators from around the world who have committed to reducing the gender gap in the customer base of their mobile internet or mobile money services. This commitment also builds on VEON’s strong track record on diversity in the country. Jazz Pakistan was recently announced as the best Gender Inclusive Workplace in the UN Women Asia Pacific WEP Awards and received seven awards at the Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Benchmark Awards.

Sardar Mohammad Abubakr, Chief Operating Officer of MMBL, explains that the bank operates in most of the rural and urban regions across Pakistan to foster financial inclusivity and bring economic empowerment to people. Empowering female customers/entrepreneurs is on top of their mantra, as including this significantly impactful segment will ensure sustainable growth for all, and they continue to further this ambition of theirs through this commitment with GSMA.

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