Mastercard and Neem launch the first embedded finance partnership in Pakistan

December 5, 2023 | Karachi, Pakistan

4 December, 2023,KARACHI, Pakistan — Neem, a leading embedded finance platform in Pakistan, has entered a multifaceted partnership with Mastercard, a global technology company in the payments industry. The strategic multi-year collaboration will enable financial wellness for Pakistan’s underserved communities. The partnership marks Mastercard’s first view into the embedded finance space in Pakistan.

Embedded finance enables companies from any sector to integrate financial services directly into their products via application programming interface (API) implementation. It gives businesses the opportunity to provide payments, lending, insurance, and other financial services without the need to build a proprietary financial infrastructure themselves.

This collaboration spans multiple aspects of Neem's business, including the issuance of cards, which range from debit and virtual cards to a co-branded offering. Additionally, it involves strengthening synergies through product-driven initiatives like remittances, loyalty reward programs, and more in the future.

"Our partnership with Mastercard marks a significant milestone for Neem and the embedded finance movement in Pakistan. It will advance us further on our mission to enable financial wellness for underserved people and businesses. It also emphasizes our commitment to sustainability, and as pioneers in the country, we are introducing eco-friendly debit cards. We hope to inspire the wider industry towards sustainable finance solutions,” said Vladimira Briestenska, cofounder at Neem.

Both Neem and Mastercard believe that embedded finance has the potential to spark a financial wellness shift in Pakistan, as it has already been demonstrated by embedded finance operators across Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

“For more than 50 years, Mastercard has been leveraging its technology, network, and global reach to help individuals and businesses achieve financial security and drive sustainable economic growth. As we work to build a more inclusive and connected future, we are creating a robust ecosystem that supports scalable innovation by enabling financial service providers to reach entire populations. We view embedded finance as a fundamental tool for companies to deliver and consume services in the future," said J.K. Khalil, Cluster General Manager, MENA East at Mastercard.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Neem to fuel Pakistan’s digital economy through the power of embedded finance. Our partnership will help expand our reach to the underserved segments in our markets and drive financial inclusion in line with our commitment to bring 1 billion people across the globe into the digital economy,” said Arslan Khan, Vice President and Country Business Manager, Pakistan at Mastercard.

Neem is on a mission to enable digital businesses in Pakistan to offer financial services to their customers. Neem’s platform provides a range of embedded financial services, including full payments infrastructure, embedded lending, and insurance, across diverse industries, like mobility, agriculture, gaming, e-commerce, and more. This partnership reaffirms Mastercard’s belief in Neem’s approach.

“In Pakistan, the level of financial wellness is notably low, with less than 30% of its 230 million population having access to any form of financial services. This is where the embedded finance model can help address the finance wellness gap,” said Fawwad Raza, Head of banking operations at Neem. 

Pakistan's market remains largely untapped, and initiatives like this one have the potential to create a substantial impact. By adopting globally proven models tailored to local use cases, this strategic partnership aims to position Pakistan on the global map of embedded finance.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

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