Nigerian neobank, Kuda, has obtained a licence from the State Bank of Pakistan to operate a digital bank in the country.
On Friday, January 13, 2023, the neobank, with the name KT Bank, was among the five banks to receive a licence from the Pakistani National bank.
This licensing is coming almost eight since the n the SBP launched a national financial inclusion strategy which aims increase the number of financially included Pakistanis to 50% of the country’s adult population by 2020 but didn’t achieve the plan with only 21% of Pakistanis financially included.
While the country is making slow progresses in its financial inclusion plan, Internet penetration has risen.
Last year, the Pakistani Telecommunication Authority released a report that smartphone users of 52% now outnumber users of 2G-enabled phones of 48%for the first time in the country’s history.
Broadband subscribers reached 102.7 million in 2021, and the number of active mobile wallet users increased from 26.7 million in 2020 to 46 million in 2021.
Banking on this progress, the SBP introduced a new regulatory and licensing framework for companies that which to operate in the country January 2022, and they received 20 applications by March 2022. This saw the granting of operating license to five companies including Kuda.
They’re expected to incorporate into public limited company with Pakistan’s Securities and Exchange Commission.
In November 2022, Kuda bank announced that it was beginning operations in the United Kingdom. In the UK, it hopes to target the large numbers of African immigrants reside there, providing them with local transfers and direct debits.