Through confirmed sources it has come to our knowledge that 1LINK in a ceremony planned tomorrow at PC Karachi, will announce the launch of a local card payment scheme just like VISA, MasterCard, Union Pay and others. This project is in line with Pakistan Vision 2020 to promote financial inclusion in Pakistan. Mr. Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, Governor of State Bank of Pakistan will be the Chief Guest and Mr. Saeed Ahmad, Deputy Governor of State Bank of Pakistan will be the Guest of Honor.
Unlike VISA, MasterCard and other card scheme, this local card scheme will cost lower to process transactions by financial institutions and merchants. Eventually this will lead to increase in card penetration and address the electronic banking needs of consumers.
Since this will be a domestic local scheme for Pakistan, the scheme name has been kept to reflect patriotism in its true form. Launch of this new service by 1LINK will enable bank to tap under-penetrated/untapped consumers segments in rural areas that do not have access to banking and financial services. Right pricing of this scheme would make the cards more economically feasible for banks to offer to their customers. 1LINK has already been providing support to BISP, WATAN cards, IDP cards etc.
1LINK being the defacto Inter Bank Switch in Pakistan enabling inter-operability of over 10,000 ATMs, we believe this is a strategic move to utilize the existing infrastructure and relationships to make this a true success. Back in 2012, India also launched RuPay which has been a success and now holds 35% market share just behind VISA.