NADRA pairs with 1Link to introduce digital payments platform for financial inclusion
Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has concluded a partnership agreement with digital payments solution provider 1Link to enable Pakistanis to easily pay utility bills and any fees to obtain identity documents.
NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik and 1Link CEO Najeeb Agrawalla signed the partnership in Islamabad on behalf of their institutions.
Per the agreement, NADRA’s more than 17,000 e-Sahulat outlets, run as franchises, will henceforth function as interoperable alternatives to automatic teller machines (ATMs). As such, users will be able to carry out transfers of funds, cash-in and cash-out, public-to-government (P2G), government-to-public (G2P), and public-to-public payments (P2P), notes an announcement on the NADRA website.
e-Sahulat is a low-cost digital services collection and disbursement platform designed to provide a secure payment and collection facility for Pakistanis. People can pay bills, collect pension payments, and undergo biometric verification in case they want to amend details of their national ID, the CNIC.
NADRA and its partner say thanks to the partnership, 1Link’s services such as 1-Bill, Inter Bank Financial Transactions (IBFT)/Cash-In and Human ATM/Cash Out, will be integrated with NADRA’s e-Sahulat outlets to enable citizens make cash deposits and withdrawals easily.
Increasing the number and type of transactions made with the national digital ID also increases the amount of data the agency has access to.
The move, the NADRA boss says, is part of efforts aimed at promoting digital government in Pakistan. He also highlighted the wide reach of the e-Sahulat program, saying it is used by many people at the grassroots.
“We are enhancing state capacity to deliver digital public goods and move towards electronic financial transactions for transparency and accountability. This would enable financial inclusion as well,” said Malik.
“Cash in/ Cash out is an opportunity for more than 40+ bank account holders to transfer/withdraw cash pan Pakistan using secure biometric verification,” he added, while describing the importance of the partnership.
Meanwhile, in a post to LinkedIn, Tariq Malik explains the importance of the e-Sahulat, saying not only has it revolutionized the digital payments landscape in Pakistan, it has also provided employment to thousands of young Pakistanis. He also mentioned the innovations the system has undergone over the years.
NADRA last month reported a jump in figures with regard to the daily issuance of the Pakistani digital national ID card.