ISLAMABAD, December 23: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), in pursuance of its reforms agenda to support and encourage Fintech revolution in the country, has granted approval for the launch of Pakistan’s first Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending Platform.

Finja, venture capital-backed fintech secured the approval under the first cohort of SECP’s Regulatory Sandbox. To highlight the impact of P2P lending and the potential of technology for efficient credit disbursement and expanding financial inclusion, Finja organized an exclusive event here on Wednesday. The Chairman SECP, Aamir Khan was the Chief Guest.

Speaking at the occasion Aamir Khan said that the SECP has placed significant focus on serving the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as they play a vital role in the economic development of any country. To improve access to finance for the MSMEs, Agri borrowers and rural enterprises, SECP has already operationalized the Secured Transaction Registry (STR), which went live on 30th April 2020. So far, more than 125,000 security interests have been recorded in the registry. This has allowed small businesses to obtain credit against their movable assets. Similarly, SECP is focusing on simplifying the Private Equity and Venture Capital (PE&VC) regime so that the high growth and knowledge-based start-ups can have access to long term capital, required to grow and expand.

However, the most significant measure of SECP has been the introduction of the regulatory sandbox, under which six concepts were approved in the first cohort. This initiative will encourage entrepreneurs and businesses to try and develop new ideas and, in the process, serve the end-users, and expand financial inclusion.

Finja the dual-regulated new-age fintech, has introduced a new entity “Finja Lending Services” (FLS) with a focus to provide digital credit to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the people that they employ. So far, Finja has digitally processed loans with a throughput of USD 10 Million to MSMEs and their employees, using their proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence-led algorithms and analytics. These loans are disbursed and collected digitally, eliminating cash-heavy, time and cost-intensive processes.

Qasif Shahid, CEO and Co-founder Finja remarked, “We’re fully committed to digitizing the complete supply-chain ecosystem in the country. Our association with SECP will serve as a precursor to growing the country’s most important segment.”

FINJA, founded in 2016 by Qasif Shahid, Monis Rahman and Umer Munawar. It is backed by leading global venture capital funds including Swedish – Vostok Emerging Finance, BeeNext, a Japanese VC firm and Quona Capital from the United States of America, Ukraine based ICU along with Descon.

The author is a senior business reporter with bylines in leading newspapers and magazines across Pakistan.


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