Bank Alfalah marks breakthrough with Equity Investment and Embedded Finance Partnership with QistBazaar

Karachi, May 05, 2023: Bank Alfalah, one of the largest commercial banks in Pakistan, has made a  significant entry into the venture capital ecosystem as it has signed an agreement to acquire a 7.2%  equity stake worth PKR 140 million in QistBazaar, a fast-growing, Securities and Exchange Commission  of Pakistan (SECP) licensed Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) non-bank financial company (NBFCs) platform.  

The acquisition marks a breakthrough in the country’s fintech landscape, as it is the first time a  commercial bank has taken an equity stake in a BNPL fintech. With this collaboration, the Bank aims to  transform the BNPL landscape in Pakistan and pave the way for more collaboration between commercial  banks and fintechs.  

In addition to the equity agreement, Bank Alfalah and QistBazaar have signed an embedded financing  agreement in Shariah Compliant mode for up to PKR 350 million, subject to terms and conditions. The  Bank will incorporate digital financing product within the QistBazaar platform to offer embedded consumer  durables financing on BNPL. This will target customers with limited or no access to formal credit. The  partnership is expected to usher in a new era by enhancing the customer experience, improving financial  inclusion, and providing innovative solutions. 

The signing ceremony was attended by senior leadership from the Bank, including Atif Bajwa, President  and CEO; Aasim Wajid Jawad, Group Head of Strategy, Transformation, Customer Experience and  Venture Capital Investments and Yahya Khan, Group Head of Digital Banking. From QistBazaar, Co Founders Arif Lakhani and Karim Gilani, along with other executives, graced the event. 

Atif Bajwa, President and CEO, said, ‘Bank Alfalah is committed to working with partners to address the  needs of customers with limited access to credit and lower purchasing power. Our collaboration with  QistBazaar through an equity investment and Islamic-embedded financing deal marks a significant step  forward. This partnership aims to provide inventive financial solutions, creating new opportunities for  growth and support for these underserved customers.’ 

Arif Lakhani, CEO QistBazaar, commented. ‘QistBazaar has been on a mission to democratise  purchasing power, and in the first 18 months of our existence, over 17,000 Pakistanis that we have  served, most of them do not have bank accounts, nor could they have purchased what they did without  going through us. With Bank Alfalah coming in as equity and embedded financing partner and their  guidance and experience, our work will become much easier.’  

The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) facility is becoming increasingly popular among consumers due to its  affordability, convenience and financial flexibility while offering a cost-effective solution to traditional  means of purchasing in times of high-interest rates. Bank Alfalah currently operates a thriving BNPL product through its award-winning e-commerce marketplace platform, Alfa Mall. Through this  collaboration, the Bank aims to expand into customer segments with thin or non-existent credit files. 

About Bank Alfalah:

Bank Alfalah is a leading commercial bank in Pakistan, boasting over 1000 branches across 200 cities and an international presence in the UAE, Bangladesh, Bahrain, and Afghanistan. The bank offers a wide range of products and services, including corporate and investment banking, consumer banking, securities brokerage, commercial, small and medium enterprise, agricultural, Islamic, and asset financing to private-sector institutions and governments.
In 2018, Bank Alfalah launched its digital banking group, setting a high standard for the industry to follow with its Alfa app, a revolutionary new application that brings together an unprecedented range of services and features all in one convenient platform. In 2022, the bank was awarded the best ‘Digital Bank’ and ‘Housing Finance’ across Pakistan, highlighting its commitment to simplifying and improving the financial capabilities of its customers.

Media Contact:
Madiha Javed Qureshi
Head – Corporate Communications

Talha Hyder
Assistant Manager Corporate Communication

Rida Manzoor
Manager Corporate Communication