Waseela Microfinance Bank Limited (WMBL), subsidiary of Egypt-based telecommunications company Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH), and Mobilink, an Islamabad-based cellular service provider managed by OTH, recently received approval from the State Bank of Pakistan to offer branchless banking in the country. The services to be offered will include cash deposits, withdrawals, fund transfers and utility bill payments. Rashid Khan, Chairman of WMBL, reportedly stated that, “about 12 [percent] of the adult population of Pakistan [have] access to formal financial services. Waseela and Mobilink share the vision of becoming a market leader in mobile micro financial services offering simple, innovative and value added products and services.”
Islamabad-based WMBL started operations in May 2012 and reports total assets of approximately PKR 1 billion (USD 10.2 million).
Established in 1994, Mobilink provides mobile phone service in Pakistan and international roaming in 140 countries. As of June 2012, Mobilink has a 30-percent market share in Pakistan and serves approximately 36 million subscribers. OTH took over Mobilink’s management in April 2001.
By Sarah Benali, Research Associate
About Waseela Microfinance Bank
Licensed in November 2011, Waseela Microfinance Bank operates in Pakistan as a subsidiary of Egypt-based telecommunications company Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH). As of 2012, Waseela Microfinance Bank has total assets of approximately PKR 1 billion (USD 10.2 million). As of 2012, Waseela plans to begin offering mobile banking through OTH-managed mobile phone service provider Mobilink.
Sources and Additional Resources
Waseela Press Release: “Waseela Microfinance, Mobilink announce commercial launch of branchless banking,” November 2012, http://www.waseelabank.com/press-release/
MicroCapital.org story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: In Islamabad, Pakistan, Orascom’s Waseela Microfinance Bank Limited (WMBL) Opens First Branch,” May 6, 2012, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-in-islamabad-pakistan-orascoms-waseela-microfinance-bank-limited-wmbl-opens-first-branch/
MicroCapital.org story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Waseela Microfinance Bank of Pakistan to Commence Operations With $11m in Backing from Egypt’s Orascom Telecom,” April 23, 2012, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-waseela-microfinance-bank-of-pakistan-to-commence-operations-with-11m-in-backing-from-egypts-orascom-telecom/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Waseela Microfinance Bank
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH)
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