Karandaaz launches program to finance design thinking services for DFS

Karandaaz launches a new program to finance design thinking services for Digital Financial Service (DFS) providers offering products and services through mobile and web-based platforms.

Karandaaz aims to promote digital financial products and services that address the needs of the customers; create more valuable, appealing, and user-friendly solutions; and expand financial inclusion in the country.

More often than not, digital financial products are complex when presented digitally and hence many customers are reluctant to use them. This builds a gap in trust leading to lower adoption.

Creating products using Design Thinking lowers the complexity and improves customer trust and adoption. Many upcoming DFS providers are unable to engage the services of expert design thinkers while developing solutions due to the paucity of resources resultantly missing out on critical insights, skills, and knowledge of international best practices.

Subsidies offered by Karandaaz will bridge this gap and improve the efficacy of homegrown solutions.

The range of services covered under the program includes design research, user experience design, user interface design, usability audit, and product and service design.

DFS providers who are operating in payments, savings, credit, customer acquisition, lending, mobile wallets, e-commerce payments, digital on-boarding, account opening, and digital security, etc. are eligible to apply.

According to a State Bank of Pakistan report titled “Digital Financial Services Innovation Challenge Facility”, estimated the market potential of Digital Finance Services in Pakistan to cross USD 36 billion by 2025, providing a 7% boost to the GDP, creating 4 million new jobs and resulting in USD 263 billion in new deposits. National Financial Inclusion Strategy notes that while there are 120 million SIM cardholders in Pakistan, only 7% of Pakistani adults had used mobile money either through their own or others’ accounts.

Over the counter (OTC) transactions currently represent 80% of all digital transactions versus only 14% of transactions are direct wallet-to-wallet (account-to-account). This indicates that more focus is needed to come up with applications that are easy to use for regular customers on their own and have instinctual designs, ensuring more use cases.

Karandaaz Pakistan is supporting an increase in access to finance for unbanked populations including SMEs and individuals by leveraging digital technologies, commercial investments, developing and disseminating evidence-based insights, and encouraging innovation in financial space. Karandaaz has been funded by DFID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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