Amsterdam, 15th September 2022: VEON Ltd. (NASDAQ: VEON, Euronext Amsterdam: VEON), a global digital operator that provides converged connectivity and services, today announces that its operator Mobilink Microfinance Bank in Pakistan has launched three major initiatives to financially empower female entrepreneurs and support farmers in the country. Mobilink Microfinance Bank Ltd. (MMBL) is VEON’s financial services arm in Pakistan and the country’s largest digital bank.
The three Mobilink Microfinance Bank initiatives include low-cost 4G handsets for customers bundled with the bank’s digital banking application, e-commerce services for female entrepreneurs, and an agriculture advisory service for farmers in Pakistan.
Mobilink Microfinance Bank (MMBL) is introducing low-cost 4G handsets for its customers to drive participation in the digital economy among marginalized groups within the population. Targeted at female entrepreneurs, the substantially discounted Digit 4G handsets will come pre-loaded with the digital banking application, MMBL DOST, which will enable customers to obtain quick financial assistance, pay bills, make money transfers and use a vast array of digital banking services.
Mobilink Microfinance Bank has also collaborated with Daraz, Pakistan’s largest e-commerce platform, to help incentivise and upskill female entrepreneurs with brick-and-mortar stores to go digital and expand their customer outreach across the country.
Although females comprise of almost half the population of Pakistan, their financial inclusion figure stands at 7%1. With a growing 3G/4G subscriber base in the country that currently represents 53% of the total 195 million cellular subscribers2, Mobilink Microfinance Bank, under its flagship Women Inspirational Network (WIN) programme, aims to support an enabling digital financial ecosystem for empowering women, an underserved, yet influential segment of the country through such initiatives.
“As a digital operator, VEON is focused on providing high-quality connectivity while building a digital services ecosystem to meet customers’ needs and transform their lives. These initiatives will accelerate financial inclusion in Pakistan, drive economic growth, and play an important role in the digitalisation of the local microfinance industry,” states Kaan Terzioglu, VEON Group CEO at the launch.
To provide an agriculture advisory service for Pakistan’s farmers, Mobilink Microfinance Bank has partnered with a leading AgriTech company BaKhabar Kissan. The digital service will provide advice on planting profitable crops, monitoring weather, livestock management, and how to boost agricultural yields. Agriculture represents 22.7% of Pakistan’s GDP and employs around 37.4% of the workforce3. The recent floods in the country have destroyed 3.6 million acres of crops and caused a loss of 700,000 livestock4.
“For over 10 years, Mobilink Microfinance Bank has been playing a game-changing role in empowering marginalized and underserved communities in Pakistan,” explains Ghazanfar Azzam, President & CEO of Mobilink Microfinance Bank. “Through these initiatives, we are aiming to build a digital infrastructure that will help further economic prosperity and financial empowerment among women business owners and small and medium-sized farmers in the country; two segments that have the potential to transform Pakistan’s economic future.”
VEON is a digital operator that provides converged connectivity and digital services to over 200 million customers. Operating across seven countries that are home to more than 8% of the world’s population, VEON is transforming lives through technology-driven services that empower individuals and drive economic growth. Headquartered in Amsterdam, VEON is listed on NASDAQ and Euronext.
For more information, visit: https://www.veon.com
About Mobilink Microfinance Bank Ltd.
Mobilink Microfinance Bank Ltd. is Pakistan’s largest digital bank with over 40 million registered users including 16+ million monthly active mobile users. With a hybrid model that combines traditional microfinance with mobile/digital banking technologies, the bank now operates with over 100 branches and 200,000 branchless banking agents, and provides a USSD (GSM) based digital channel offering savings, micro enterprise (MSME) loans, small housing loans, remittances, collection (utility bills and loan installments), mobile wallets, insurance, G2P, B2B & B2P payments; thus, playing a leading role in the promotion of financial inclusion.
For more information visit: www.mobilinkbank.com
This release contains “forward-looking statements,” as the phrase is defined in Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and include statements relating to, among other things, VEON’s initiatives in Pakistan. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which VEON cannot predict with accuracy and some of which VEON might not even anticipate. The forward-looking statements contained in this release speak only as of the date of this release. VEON does not undertake to publicly update, except as required by U.S. federal securities laws, any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after such dates or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
3 Pakistan Economic Survey 2020-21 https://www.finance.gov.pk/survey/chapters_21/02-Agriculture.pdf