Interview with Mr Ghazanfar Azam – CEO, Mobilink Microfinance Bank
Ghazanfar Azam joined Mobilink Microfinance Bank (MMBL) formerly known as Waseela Microfinance Bank Limited as its President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in April 2012.
Under his guidance, Waseela Microfinance Bank now operates 51 branches and 60,000 branchless banking agents offering micro loans, savings, domestic remittances, utility bill collection, mobile wallets, life insurance, G2P& B2P payments through a strategic alliance with Mobilink under the umbrella of Mobicash (rebranded as JazzCash).
Ghazanfar has over 30 years of experience in retail, commercial, consumer, SME & micro banking segments for some of Pakistan’s leading financial institutions including HBL, Union Bank, Prime Bank and Bank Alfalah. He is also credited with launching two leading Greenfield nation-wide microfinance banks in Pakistan i.e. Kashf Micro Finance Bank in 2008 (now FINCA) & Waseela Microfinance Bank in 2012.
Apart from being a stalwart of the local finance industry, Ghazanfar Azam has extensive global exposure through work assignments in Indonesia, Cambodia, Turkey, Romania, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, United States, Bolivia, Morocco and United Kingdom. He has worked for Shore Bank International (now Enclude) as a senior consultant and Head of USAID funded SME downscaling project.
In recognition of his contributions to HR development in the banking industry, Ghazanfar was awarded the prestigious Hubert Humphrey Fellowship by the United States Government under their Fulbright program. The program included studies at Penn State in HRD & Leadership and practical work experience at ABN Ambro Bank in Chicago.
In an interview Ghazanfar said that Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited (MMBL) has become the first microfinance bank in Pakistan to launch Internet Banking for its customers. With TPS as its trusted technology partner for this digital banking feature, the bank is enabling its customers to process key financial and non-financial transactions at their fingertips.
PAGE: How the customers would be benefiting of your initiative for internet banking?
GHAZANFAR: Now MMBL’s customers can register themselves online, they can view their Account/Debit-Card Summary, they can view Transactions Limits assigned to their accounts/cards, can generate Statement of Account / Mini-Statement, can add a beneficiary, can setup and schedule fund transfers (Intra-bank and Inter-bank), can sign up for their ATM Card/Cheque Book/On Demand Statement of Account, can suspend their Internet Banking Account, and can edit their ID and password. Bill Payments & Mobile Application is also being added to the online banking service in the next few weeks.
The smooth user experience will assist the users feel in control, thus, building trust and confidence. MMBL chose PRISM, because of its depth of functionality including multi-country, multi-lingual and multi-currency capabilities.
PAGE: You have partnered with tps what will be its role in this project?
GHAZANFAR: By implementing Internet Banking, we have been able to provide our customers with the best possible services that enables our customers to access the latest state-of-the-art online banking technology.
We decided to partner with TPS because of its history of successful implementation of retail and internet banking solutions in Asia, Middle East, and Africa.
Consumers expect the ability to access their finances swiftly and reliably. Our Internet banking solution will help Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited deliver the digital banking experience that will enable the bank stay at the heart of their consumers.
With the flexibility inherent in PRISM’s architecture, the Bank will be able to offer new service offerings as customer demands evolve.
About Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited:
Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited (MMBL) is the 10th licensed microfinance bank in Pakistan by State Bank of Pakistan under ‘Microfinance Institution Ordinance 2001’ and is 6th bank having nationwide operating mandate. The Bank started its operations on May 2, 2012.
This new Microfinance Bank has been established at a critical junction in the evolution of the microfinance industry in Pakistan. For the last 3 decades, microfinance has largely been dominated by relatively weak and unsustainable institutions focusing on the traditional micro credit, but with the evolution in branchless banking and impact of technology in the banking sector, a lot more focus is now headed towards the gaining the strategic advantage of covering outreach through mobile banking products.
TPS is a leading provider of cards and payment solutions trusted by over 130 customers spread across 30+ countries including Asia and Africa with increasing footprint across other regions.
Our solutions focused on mobility and reliable services enable banks, telecoms, central banks, payment processors, national switches and other institutions in their mission critical digital banking, cards and payments services.
TPS offers a combination of technical and business expertise in the area of card management, prepaid cards, multi-channel issuing and acquiring, payment processing, alternate delivery channel management, bills payment gateway and processing, remittance hub and processing, payment gateways and internet & mobile banking. From inception through design and implementation to upgrades and support, TPS stays committed to the entire project life cycle and beyond.