The United Kingdom (UK) government’s Department for International Development (DFID) on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to set up a digital financial services (DFS) unit in Pakistan. The MoU was signed at the International Branchless Banking Conference 2014, organised by the State Bank of Pakistan.
The DFID and the Gates Foundation stressed their commitment to increase access to affordable and safe digital financial services for excluded groups and small and medium enterprises in Pakistan. The foundation will provide $16 million over the next three years for the DFS unit. The financial services unit will be setup within Karandaaz Pakistan, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) established by the DFID to strengthen the microfinance industry, entrepreneurship and small business development in Pakistan by working with existing institutions and through innovative financial products.
The DFID’s support to Karandaaz will help create sustainable digital finance institutions in the country focusing on improving access to finance for individuals and enterprises, job creation and raising incomes of the poor.