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Karachi, Pakistan - 01 Nov 2012: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Monet, one of Pakistan’s leading mobile-commerce providers, has selected a customized IBM cloud-based solution that will enable the company to enhance service efficiency and expand its presence across the country.
Launched in 2012, Monet provides banks, mobile network operators and branchless banking agents in Pakistan with a technology platform that offers end-users a simple interface through which they can access a wide range of financial services on their mobile phones.
Mobile banking and financial services are expected to grow significantly in Pakistan in the coming years. Increased demand for affordable banking, a lack of traditional banking infrastructure and an aggressive branchless banking mandate from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has driven quick uptake of mobile banking in the country.
With a population of 180 million, a mobile phone penetration of more than 70% and a banked ratio of only 22%, Pakistan offers a large potential market for Mobile Financial Services (MFS). According to an SBP recent branchless banking newsletter, the number of mobile banking accounts was at 1.45 million, showing a growth of 37% during the second quarter of 2012, with new level zero account openings registering a jump of 370% .The existing accounts activity level also improved substantially during the quarter as the number of active accounts increased by 66%.1
To capture this opportunity, Monet chose IBM to develop a unique IT environment allowing the company to offer reliable and efficient services to a growing customer base throughout the country.
“Mobile financial services have reached an inflection point where they have moved from niche to mainstream,” said Ali Abbas Sikander, CEO, Monet. “We believe mobile can potentially become the strongest channel for the delivery of financial services. IBM’s cloud solution will allow us to reach our clients easily, giving us access to a wider base of customers and ultimately extending the reach of financial services in the country.”
IBM will develop a specialized solution based on IBM SmartCloud technology, to deploy Monet’s mobile banking applications from Fundamo, a leading mobile financial services platform provider and an IBM partner. The private cloud will allow Monet to save on initial investments in IT and help the company offer more efficient services at a reduced cost.
IBM SmartCloud infrastructure is based on IBM servers, storage and software optimized to meet growing mobile demand. In addition, Monet has outsourced the entire networking, security, cryptographic solutions, and disaster recovery to IBM, in order to focus on its core business.
“Mobile and Cloud are a powerful combination to provide sustainable and affordable banking services to millions of people in Pakistan,” said Adnan Siddiqui, CGM, IBM Pakistan and Afghanistan. “IBM has global experience in the financial services sector and a thorough understanding of the local market, and our engagement with Monet is expected to benefit banking customers across the country.”
The agreement was signed in May 2012.
Monet is Pakistan’s first and only shared access Mobile Financial Services (MFS) platform connecting banks, mobile operators and merchants. Monet envisions a world-class, feature-rich, fully-managed platform enabling the next generation of an electronic payments eco-system. Monet has already formed a strategic partnership with a leading commercial bank and a large telecom operator to enable the launch of a new mobile money brand in Pakistan. The company has attracted a private equity investment from Abu Dhabi Group (ADG). ADG is one of the leading business conglomerates in the Middle East with diversified business interests in Europe and Asia. ADG is led by His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan - the Federal Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research of the United Arab Emirates.
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IBM has helped thousands of clients adopt cloud models and manages millions of cloud-based transactions every day. With cloud, IBM helps clients rethink their IT and reinvent their business. IBM assists clients in areas as diverse as banking, communications, healthcare and government to build their own clouds or securely tap into IBM cloud-based business and infrastructure services. IBM is unique in bringing together key cloud technologies, deep process knowledge, a broad portfolio of cloud solutions, and a network of global delivery centers.
For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/smartcloud.
1Branchless Banking Newsletter Quarterly April-June 2012.State Bank of Pakistan. Link: http://www.sbp.org.pk/publications/acd/BranchlessBanking-Apr-Jun-2012.pdf.
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