Karachi-based fintech Safepay secures pilot licence from SBP

Published August 16, 2022
A photo of Karachi-based fintech Safepay’s members at a signing ceremony with Visa. — Photo by Safepay
A photo of Karachi-based fintech Safepay’s members at a signing ceremony with Visa. — Photo by Safepay

Karachi-based fintech Safepay announced on Tuesday that it has received approval for pilot operations as a payment service operator/provider from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

According to a press release issued by the fintech, the pilot approval is the second step towards receiving a full payment service provider licence and was granted based on Safepay fulfilling the SBP’s stringent criteria.

It added that the approval will allow Safepay to proceed with onboarding merchants and scale its operations.

Safepay was the first Pakistani fintech to have graduated from Y-Combinator, the prestigious US-based accelerator, and has recently closed another round of funding, after raising from a round led by Stripe.

The press release said that the latest funding will allow Safepay to "double down on the groundwork made in building a world-class team, operations and partnerships such as this one with Cybersource".

The startup has been active in the market since 2019 and its core offering to merchants is a one-window solution that allows customers to pay online through the merchant’s website using their bank account, mobile wallet and now, their Visa or Mastercard backed card.

To that end, Safepay also disclosed its partnership with Visa's Cybersource.

"Through card acceptance, Pakistani merchants can receive payments from their local and international customers. This is supported by a market-leading digital onboarding experience, easy-to-use technical integrations, focused customer support and a powerful reporting dashboard that lets small and large businesses track their payments," the press release reads.

Safepay co-founder Ziyad Parekh said the fintech was "excited" to see how it could help its merchants grow their businesses with its new service offerings.

Meanwhile, Leila Serhan, Visa’s Group Country Manager and Senior Vice President for North Africa, Levant and Pakistan, said the collaboration with Safepay "allows us to ensure that we provide merchants in Pakistan with access to high-quality security solutions that include fraud management, payment acceptance, and security".

Safepay Chief Business Officer Iman Urooj said that with the pilot approval, the fintech could scale up the number of its merchants.

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