Pakistan: Industry Collaboration to Promote Financial Inclusion for Women

A collaboration amongst four Pakistan and multi-national organizations aims to enhance the availability of financial services to low-income women across Pakistan. The partnership, announced today, brings together the technical expertise of Pakistan’s premiere mobile financial services provider JazzCash and consumer products giant Unilever Pakistan Limited. The project will be executed in Pakistan with the support of the Pakistani non-profit development finance company, Karandaaz Pakistan and global nonprofit, Women’s World Banking. The partnership aims to research, design and develop an agent banking model that will serve low-income women who often face barriers to accessing formal financial services.

The project builds on Unilever’s vast network of Guddi Baajis, female retail agents, who sell Unilever products in rural and low-income communities across Pakistan. Women’s World Banking will draw on nearly 40 years of researching women’s lives to develop and test solutions to enable these Guddi Baajis to serve as mobile banking agents. These female entrepreneurs will be an extension of Jazz’s retail network, making the JazzCash mobile account available to women in rural neighborhoods using mobile and digital technology. This type of agent banking allows women to bank near their homes, cutting the cost of transport and time away from home and work, which can make saving at a bank branch impossible.