ISLAMABAD: Licensed digital lending Non-Bank Finance Companies (NBFCs) have made rapid progress and started to show disruption in Pakistan’s lending landscape and are proving to be significant in furthering the journey of financial inclusion, data shared by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) showed on Friday.
The SECP has licensed six fintech-enabled NBFCs, which have collectively reached out to 365,239 borrowers with disbursement of over Rs6,139 million through 858,998 loans, which signifies that many borrowers have obtained more than one loan from these lenders.
The data released by the SECP shows that the average loans size of these digitally-enabled NBFCs ranges from Rs1,000 to Rs80,000 depending upon the nature of business and target market of these entities.
“These are small loans available easily for the borrowers, but since these are digital-based, the borrowers cannot default and ignore the repayment,” said a senior official of the SECP adding that the data of defaulters is shared with the State Bank of Pakistan as a result the defaulter cannot avail any other financial service.
The official added under this lending mode, the small amount request by the borrower is credited into the digital wallet of the borrower within few hours as digital processing of the loan is fast and does not require any guarantee.
Newly licensed digital lending NBFCs include Finja Lending Services Limited, SeedCred Financial Services Limited, Qisstpay BNPL Limited, Tez Financial Services Limited, Cashew Financial Services Limited and CreditFix Financial Services Limited. These NBFCs are providing financial solutions to otherwise unserved and underserved through digital means and include Nano lending, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending and Buy-Now-Pay-Later models etc.
All of these licences have been issued during the last three years to NBFCs that are engaged in digital lending using innovative fintech solutions.
The first fintech-enabled NBFC licence was issued in 2019 and only 55,528 requests were honoured, disbursing Rs495 million, while by the end of 2021, the six licence holders disbursed a total of Rs6.13 billion to 365,239 borrowers.
“This is a solution to the traditional complaint that the banks were not interested in small loans, and the majority of borrowers were those who either did not possessed credit cards or wanted to spend the amount in any sector which does not deal in credit cards,” the official added.
The SECP has said that fresh applications have been received for NBFC licence from investors who intend to engage in fintech based lending.
Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2022