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Kuda to power digital banking services in Pakistan

Nigeria-born digital banking platform Kuda is on its way to power digital banking services in Pakistan. The fintech is set to acquire a digital banking license from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Kuda and four other banks received one of only five licenses granted, edging out 15 other applicants including local commercial banks mega digital banking players like the Sequoia-backed Dbank, South Africa’s Tyme Bank, and homegrown fintechs such as Finja.

As the digital revolution sweeps across financial markets globally, more central banks are creating frameworks and licenses that enable proper regulatory control of the digital banks within their country’s borders. In January 2022, Pakistan’s central bank launched its new licensing and regulatory framework for digital banks with a pilot of only five licenses to spur financial inclusion.

Kuda applied in partnership with two leading Pakistani institutions - private school network The City School Group and Fatima Group, a conglomerate of companies with subsidiaries across a variety of sectors, from energy to agricultural manufacturing and trading.

“Our partnership with Fatima Group and The City School Group leverages each partner’s unique reach and capabilities to create a powerful proposition with enormous potential to increase financial access and affordability in Pakistan, and most notably, with a focus on the agriculture and education sectors,” said Ryan Laubscher, Chief Expansion Officer at Kuda.

The successful applicants will provide digital financial services, including credit services and low-cost movement of money to all Pakistanis, promoting financial inclusion and serving the unbanked or underserved—exactly what Kuda has been able to do in its home market, Nigeria.

Since its launch in 2019, Kuda has raised more than US$90 million and expanded its customer base to more than five million users. The digital banking platform demonstrates a new era of banking to Nigerians: free, easy, and completely digital. Like Nigeria, Pakistan is densely populated with the potential for huge volumes of transactions when Kuda is adopted at scale.

Earlier this month, Kuda was spotlighted by TechCrunch as one of the African startups in the soon-to-be-unicorn pipeline. In a recent piece, TechCabal asked a critical question: Can African fintech startups build global solutions? With news like this, Kuda is joining startups like Paga and Moniepoint to say, “yes, we can”.

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