Mind the Gap!

Fintech is one of the most rapidly growing sectors with the highest demand in the world. Fintech fuses financial services with digital technology to provide consumers and corporations with creative financing alternatives. The creation and installation of the BAAS (Banking As A Service) Model - which enables firms to accept and deliver a full variety of financial services to their customers - ushered in this trend, which ranges from payments and insurance to loans and investments.

Covid-19 has altered Pakistan's talent environment in several ways. Lockdowns brought on by the pandemic shifted a majority of activities online, including work, payments, education and enterprises and hastened Pakistan's transition to a digital economy.

According to estimates, more than 40 noteworthy fintech companies are functioning in Pakistan, the majority of which are in the payments sector. Eight of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include financial inclusion as an objective, as it is seen as a major facilitator of economic development. A growing body of research indicates that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and individuals may contribute to financial stability, economic development, job creation, and fiscal and monetary policy efficacy.

However, recent initiatives taken by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), including the launch of the Raast programme, have created a sizable market opportunity for fintechs to take advantage of, given that according to the World Bank only 21% of the population is financially included and that consumer preferences are shifting toward digital technologies and smartphone adoption. This will make it possible for foreign venture capitalists (VCs) to spend more money and for global fintechs to start operating in Pakistan. Institutional funders will also continue to be crucial to the ecosystem's success, with particular emphasis on empowering women economically through financial inclusion and financial sophistication.

Fintechs may significantly contribute to the disruption of the financial services ecosystem by realising this change and potential in the market and taking advantage of Pakistan's sizable and underserved female population. Serving neglected and unserved communities, improving client experiences and creating cutting-edge solutions may all help make financial services more accessible. As a result, the most significant gainers from...

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