ISLAMABAD: The Bank of Punjab (BOP) in collaboration with the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) and Mastercard launched the Mastercard Freelancer Digital Account and Card at a ceremony held on Tuesday. The launch came after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the parties to offer tailored banking services and solutions to PSEB-registered freelancers and Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITes) professionals.
The Mastercard Freelancer Digital Account and Card is an innovative banking solution designed specifically for the needs of freelancers and IT and ITeS professionals. The solution offers a range of benefits including a fully digital account with no branch visits and minimal KYC requirements, instant issuance of PSEB co-branded debit and credit cards, loan facilities, and auto-enrollment into merchant accounts. The merchant solutions refer to instant invoice generation, next-day payments, and minimal charges.
This digital account service will be provided under BOP@Work, which will make freelancers and IT and ITeS professionals eligible for discounted offerings on auto finance, home loans, and personal finance. The partnership between PSEB, BOP, and Mastercard marks an important step towards facilitating the growth of the freelancing industry in Pakistan and promoting financial inclusion among freelancers and professionals working in the IT and ITeS sector.
The Member IT, Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Syed Junaid Imam, who graced the launch ceremony as the chief guest, said,
“The IT and ITeS industry is a major contributor to Pakistan’s economy, and the government of Pakistan is committed to promoting this sector to achieve its full potential. The collaboration between BOP and PSEB will provide a significant boost to the freelancers and IT industry.” Speaking at the ceremony, Zafar Masud, CEO of Bank of Punjab, said, “We are proud to launch the Freelancer Digital Account and Card, a product that has been designed to cater to the unique needs of freelancers and IT and ITeS professionals. The collaboration between BOP, PSEB, and Mastercard is a testament to our commitment to supporting the IT industry in Pakistan and helping it grow further. I would also like to point out that eligible freelancers from this segment will also be able to have access to concessionary loan schemes via BOP such as Prime Minister Youth Business & Agriculture Loan Scheme & Punjab Rozgar under which they will be able to avail loans at rates as low as 5% and 4 % respectively with tier 1 financing in PMYB&ALS being interest free. “
Zeeshan Khattak, Chief Commercial Officer, commented, “PSEB is committed to providing support to the IT industry in Pakistan. We are excited to be part of this collaboration, which will help us promote and develop the IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) industry further. It is imperative that that IT industry gets access to finance to optimize their scalability and for Financial & Capital market sector to reap benefits from IT industry in shape of unprecedented ROI’s and Diversification.”
J.K. Khalil, Cluster General Manager, MENA East at Mastercard, said,
“For more than 20 years, Mastercard has fueled the development of a robust, safe, and inclusive digital payments ecosystem in Pakistan. I would like to congratulate our partners on this exciting launch as we empower freelancers across the country and get one step closer to delivering on Mastercard’s pledge to connect 1 billion people and 50 million SMEs to the digital economy by 2025.”
Pakistan has a thriving community of approximately 1 million freelancers who play a significant role in the country’s information and communication technologies (ICT) export industry. With the launch of a freelancer digital account and card initiative, supported by Mastercard, Bank of Punjab and Pakistan Software Export Board, there is greater opportunity to unlock the potential worth billions of dollars and drive the economy forward while reforming lives at each and every corner of the country.