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The concept of making a flagship (2 days) FinCom summit with more than 100 stakeholders & thought leaders, presenting the Fintech & E-Commerce ecosystem along with a greater reach with an online digital presence all over the world is to build an impact on the FinCom Ecosystem with the help of transformation, disruption, innovation, and internationalization.
Before the pandemic, fintech adoption was doubling every two years, according to the EY Global Fintech Adoption Index 2019, growing from 16% in 2015 to 64% in 2019. The pandemic turbocharged the growth in the digitalization of banking and financial services.
According to the World Retail Banking Report 2021, by Capgemini and Efma, the disruption caused by the covid-19 pandemic ignited a new era of value-based customer-centric banking, which the report refers to as Banking 4. X. According to the authors in this report, to succeed in this Banking 4. X era, “banks must embrace digital transformation and implement cloud-based Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform models, which utilize APIs to embed banking in everyday life, making it more accessible and inclusive for banking customers.”
From bringing Global Payment System to ease of doing business along with highlighting the potential of Fintech, Logistics & e-Commerce of Pakistan business sector to the Global Markets is the vision. However, this time is to grow exponentially in Pakistan and bring the best global practices.
CEO Kanwal Masroor inaugurated the three days summit. The opening sentences of Kanwal Masroor highlighted the importance of the FinTech summit. They welcomed all the members who shared their precious knowledge to highlight the importance of e-commerce in Pakistan and how the business can grow by the following practices.
During the summit Dukan.pk case study was shared by Monis Rahman, the founder of Dukan.pk. Monis Rahman talks about how the business has transformed in recent years. He highlighted the importance of bringing ease to the business and expanding the business platforms for growth and flourishment. The keynote presentation was followed by Dr. Amjad Saqib, the founder of Akhuwat.
After the keynote session, a panel discussion on “Policy & Framework of E-Commerce & Logistics.” Participants included Abdul Mannan, CIO Bykea; Aisha Moriani, Ministry of Commerce; Ehsan Saya, CEO Daraz.pk; Feroz Jaleel, Careem. The panel discussed the importance of a proper policy framework in a firm’s e-commerce and logistics operations. They also discussed that harmonization of policies on the federal level could encourage more investment and inclusivity.
Attention was also placed on the regulation of the framework of policies in Pakistan. This can be adopted from different regions and countries using a regulated framework to ensure the success of their e-commerce and logistics sectors.
A second panel discussed “Role of Logistics in the E-Commerce Sector.” The panel participants included Ahsan Rasheed, Khazanay; Muhammad Uns, Swyft Logistics; Imran Baxamoosa, BluEx; Jamal Dhedhi, CEO iShopping; Mina Salman, Co-Founder Bagallery. They discussed the challenges faced by logistics in the E-commerce sector of Pakistan. Moreover, the significant challenges were the customer response and the lack of communication by the e-commerce platform.
Furthermore, participants discussed the role of logistics in the e-commerce sector. Attention was placed on the lack of association in the logistics sector. In conclusion, emphasis was placed on the fact that the government needs to build a logistics framework to succeed.
The panel discussion was followed by a case study of Dukan. pk presented by Monis Rahman, Dukan.pk. The presentation circulated the shift of the economy from offline to online. He also reflected on the opportunities and the distraction faced due to this shift. Mentioning the progress of dukan.pk, he mentioned how it has significantly evolved its digital marketing strategies. And tailored them according to the behavior of its customers. In the end, he focused on the aspect that it’s time for businesses to shift their operations online. However, this might be not easy to manage initially, but this can be a revolution for businesses.
The third panel of the FinCom summit was moderated by Anam Kamran, Founder of Buyon. The discussion was followed by the topic “Future of e-commerce.” Participants of the panel included Syed Atik, COO M&P; Mohsin Zaka, Tazah Technologies; Salman Sattar, Co-Founder Bagallery; Umar Qamar, from ELO. The participants shared insights about their experience in the e-commerce sector. They mentioned that giving value to the customers can bring a significant change to the retention rates.
According to the panel, digital payments can improve the e-commerce sector by reducing the disruption between customers and suppliers. The customers’ data can solve many problems when providing services. To thrive in the future, the overall ecosystem should improve.
This includes the internet service provider to the e-commerce platforms and the logistics sector. This can be cost-efficient for the customers.
Furthermore, the government should play a role in providing opportunities to the startup. In conclusion, consumer confidence can be improved by the association of every service provider. This will enable the e-commerce sector to prosper in the future.
The next panel discussion revolved around the topic “Industry Innovation: Analyzing Customer Experience Sustainability & Retention.” The participants included Abrar Ul Haq, Co-Founder Tazah; Hamid Mahmood, Software Pro. The discussion involved the innovation that the industry expects. It can be attained by analyzing customer experience. This can be introduced in Pakistan by the startups by following the data acquired from the customers’ behavior.
In order to play a better role in the saturated market, building up the persona for the brand can have a significant impact to improve customer sustainability. This can be attained by targeting your customers and improving the quality of your services. Furthermore, marketing strategies can engage an incredible influx of customers. The brands can thrive through the competition by improving their branding. This can overall improve the retention rate and drive customers to the brand.
The next segment of the summit included the case study of Retailo. The case study was presented by Naseer Khalid, Product Director, Fintech. He focused on the goals of Retailo, that they aspire to grow on the fintech side in the future. Moreover, Retailo covers the region of 700 million people and it consumes $1.5 trillion.
The community stores play a vital role in delivering the services to 700 million people. Furthermore, the customer and community stores have a relationship that influences the behavior of the customers. Now, there are many factors that have changed in the modern commerce stores.
There is a huge sector that can develop and compete with the modern players. Retailo played a significant role to help compete with the retailers by providing them with technology. This has enabled the retailers to get access to credit to drive profitability. There are different stages to adopting financial inclusion in this sector. Furthermore, the retailo app enabled customers to avail of their services on credit. The retailo has built an entire banking infrastructure in order to manage its loan products and integration with the third party.
The next panel discussed the topic “Why is Pakistan a COD Market? – Importance of Consumer Financing” The panel members included Ali Janjua, PayPro; Adnan Ali, PayFast (Moderator); Noshad Minhas, QisstPay; Shayaan Tahir, HomeShopping and Sanad Khan, Batoor. The panel started their discussion with the change in consumer financing in Pakistan.
Credit cards are not normalized in Pakistan. The installment process has been offered by many firms but this causes them to be charged by the banks. The BNPL has potential in Pakistan. In the different sectors, the BNPL can create a distinct impact on consumer financing. The BNPL in Pakistan can spike the growth rate in every aspect and Fintech can play a vital role to achieve this.
The first panel discussion on the second day was on the topic “Creating & Realizing the future of Ridesharing services”. The panel included Feroz Jaleel, Careem; Usman Gul, Airlift; Rafiq Malik, Bykea; Maha Shahzad, SWVL and Shahid Khan, Uber. The discussion started with the panelists sharing their experience in the sector and the contributions that helped them to succeed.
The ridesharing services in Pakistan are relatively expensive. Pakistan lacks the infrastructure to provide satisfactory services.
The demand for ridesharing has been significant in recent times. But there are a few factors that should be focused including affordability and consumer satisfaction.
Digitization has given ridesharing a new meaning and helped the progress of the ridesharing platforms. They discussed how the government has supported this cause. Pakistan needs to focus on the transportation sector which offers ease of access. The success for the companies that offer ridesharing can be done by providing safety, trust, and further digitization of the processes. The new entrants to the ridesharing don’t understand the economy and they need unit economics to do so.
The next panel discussion focused the topic “Cybersecurity & Data Protection.” The panelists included Abdul Qadir, Director PwC; Nahil Mahmood CISO, Finja; Salman Ahmed, CEO S2 Consulting; Syed Hassan Aslam CDC; Asif Riaz Digital Arrays; Kashif Hassan, Risk Associates; Faraz Javed, CIO NayaPay. The panelists discussed how cybersecurity and data protection is an essential element of any e-commerce platform. Furthermore, they discussed their operation to ensure cybersecurity.
The digitization and the pandemic have affected many aspects of security. The panelists discussed the challenges and experiences faced in the IT sector. Pakistan has a very reactive environment and cybersecurity lacks depth. Unfortunately, due to a lack of vision in the larger firms. IT, Audit, and cybersecurity are not on the same page in the same firm.
The sector has made many great signs of progress but cybersecurity is still struggling with the fundamentals. Fintech heavily depends on digital platforms but there is a risk when it comes to controlling cybersecurity. In conclusion, for the improvement of this cybersecurity sector, we need to focus on the statistics.
Pakistan has been slowly managing the progress of data protection as most of the IT firms provided pirated software which in return can slowly disintegrate the data protection. The public abuses the law and it causes the ecosystem of cybersecurity in Pakistan to stay behind.
The next panel discussion was based on the topic “Role of Digital Banking in E-Commerce”. Participants included Waqas Anis, JS Bank; Zain Bhatti, Finja; Ammar Akhtar, Final Rentals. The panel experts focused on the changes of the time when the world shifted from traditional banking to digital banking. Yet, Pakistan still focuses on COD in terms of purchases.
The volume of e-commerce has increased over time but we need to connect to the global market.
They also discussed how building policies and ensuring consumer protection can resolve many problems when it comes to digital banking. Moreover, they recommended that government plays an important role in the policy-making process. And should focus on implementing digital payments. They agreed that government should play a significant role in the e-commerce sector. The solution lies in allotting cheaper loans to the e-commerce sector.
The next panel discussion covered the topic “Emergence of Digital Wallets”. Faraz Javed, CIO, Naya Pay, moderated the panel and the panelists featured Faisal Mahmood, Karandaaz; Madiha Sattar, Careem; Naureen Hyat, Tezz Financials. The panel discussed that Pakistan has significantly applied digital wallets. But there are certain challenges that merchants face when it comes to the implementation of digital wallets. Though there is a huge potential in the market, SMEs are struggling to get a hold of the digital wallet.
The digital wallet should tailor to the need of the consumers and the suppliers. Moreover, this can help the merchant provide their services more efficiently. So, the merchants should have access to easily use their digital wallets without facing any disruptions.
Although the digital wallet has provided many advantages to the market. However, the digital banking regulation alone cannot auto-drive the financial inclusion. It is merely a step to provide an enabling environment. But there are various elements that depend on how we can use this digital asset.
The first-panel discussion of the third day started with the topic “Fintech & E-Commerce: Attraction for Investors”. The panelist for the discussion included Yusuf Hussain, HBL; Roger Dawood Bayat; Faisal; Aftab, Zyan Capital; Misbah Naqvi, i2i; Hassan Salal, JS Bank. The discussion focused on how different segments of the industry have been making marvelous progress over time. This progress has attracted investors to participate in the revolution of Fintech and E-commerce.
The reason why Fintech is crucial in Pakistan is that it is an undocumented economy. Although Fintech has revolutionized the system over time yet we need to deliver so much. They focused on the adoption of technology which makes it easier to provide to consumers and have access to the finance segment. With the evolution of Fintech, there is a potential in the market that attracts investors.
The next panel discussion focused on the topic “Pakistan’s Digital Landscape – Scaling the Digital Ecosystem”. Noor Ul Ain Zafer Khan moderated the session. The panelists featured Tayseer Ali; Shahzad Shahid; Shahzaib Sanwal. The panelists discussed how digital evolution got significance in the ecosystem of Pakistan.
This has enabled every platform to associate and share data to revolutionize every aspect of the ecosystem. The adoption of the new technology mostly revolves around different tools providing digital freedom.
The discussion also highlighted how leveraging technology and connecting people is very essential. From the case study of the businesses around the world, they have digitized themselves and have a great hold on the transaction data. The panel also agreed that to promote financial inclusion in Pakistan a need to get access to the transaction data. Awareness among the population and analyzing data can furthermore digitize the ecosystem of Pakistan.
The panel discussion subsequently took place entitled “E-commerce: A Catalyst for Disruptive Fintech Innovation” The panelist included Adnan Aslam, DigiKhata; Furqan Kidwai, YPay; Umair Muneer, OLX; M Owais, Dastgyr; Omair Ansari, Abhi; Marium Hadi, Worldbank. The discussion started with the impact and the progress that happened in the FinCom sector of Pakistan.
Technological improvements and financial services have been rapid and have allowed consumers to enjoy a more personalized experience. However, to harness the benefits of the innovation, many challenges will come across.
During this time the traditional bank has not done much in terms of innovative products for the consumer.
This has created an enabling environment for e-commerce platforms. To further revolutionize the system there is a need to align every service provider in the e-commerce and Fintech sectors. Though Pakistan has the lowest investment ratio on the parallel side. Pakistan is the third most adopted country as the population has been significantly making progress on the different digital platforms.
The panel agreed that regardless of the circumstances, the consumers’ access to the technological platform. Along with the ease to avail opportunities play a vital role in the innovation of both the E-commerce and the Fintech sectors.
After that, the next panel discussion was concentrated on the subject “Delivery via Drones – Opportunities & Challenges”. The panel included Iftikhar Arif, CIO M&P; Ahmed Ayub, Co-Founder Airlift; Tariq Hamid, CCO, Cheetay. The initiation of the discussion carried a vision to introduce delivery to consumers via drones. But to avail of such an innovation, there are certain challenges that can be a hurdle.
In conclusion, the panel focused on the current status of the delivery medium and how drone delivery should get implementation in Pakistan. Most importantly, the benefits of this came into discussion. The delivery drones can provide to the overall economy and how can it build more value among consumers.