The Telenor chief executive officer Irfan Wahab Khan confirmed that Alipay is entering the Pakistani market by the end of 2018. Alipay is China’s third-party mobile and online payment platform.
Irfan Wahab is a board member of the Telenor Microfinance Bank in which the parent company of Alipay, Ant Financial acquired 45% stake by investing $184.5 million in March 2018.
Presently, Ant Financial has taken approval from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) along with other authorities to start financial services in Pakistan.
In Pakistan, the tech and IT industry is growing with the advent of 3G/4G services. Now as mobile internet services have spread all over Pakistan, the mobile payment system is being promoted & encouraged.
Khan said, “The opportunity exists in data, digital payments and e-commerce.”
Currently, Pakistan has 58 million broadband subscribers. Out of these 56 million are 3G/4G subscribers. The ecommerce industry has reached $1 billion target and it is gaining momentum. Furthermore a couple of months back the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba acquired Daraz.pk.
Telenor is also looking for further growth and development in mobile broadband structure. As the broadband users will decrease in the next 5 years, people will start using mobile 3g/4g services for digital payments.
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Khan said, “We are putting a site an hour on 4G and will complete 80% of them by the end of this year.”
Telenor is the second leading telecom operator in Pakistan after Jazz. Telenor has 43 million subscribers while Jazz has 55 milllion users. Furthermore, Telenor has a 23% market share in the Next Generation Mobile in which Jazz has 34% and Zong has a 29% share.
Alongside this, Telenor has made an investment in the agriculture sector app called ‘Khushhal Zameendar’.
Khan said, “It’s about incentive. Customers are sensible to adopt new technology when it offers incentives to them.”