GSMA smartphone 4 all launched initiative to facilitate affordable smartphone ownership for low-and middle-income consumers with our ‘smartphone for all’ initiative, we aim to improve the buying ability of marginalized people via instalment-based financing instruments, Amin-ul-Haque 

Islamabad, November 23, 2022 (PPI-OT):The Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) and Kistpay in collaboration with Ministry of Information Technology (IT) and Telecommunication launched ‘Smartphone 4 All’ initiative to facilitate affordable smartphone ownership for low-and middle-income consumers in Pakistan on easy instalments.

The Federal Minister for Information Technology (IT) and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque, graced the occasion that was held at a local hotel in Islamabad on Wednesday. The event was also attended by Additional Secretary (incharge), MOITT Member Telecom, Member IC, Member Legal, other officials, and personalities from the IT and telecom Industry.

While congratulating the teams of Kistpay and GSMA on achieving this milestone, the Chief Guest of the ceremony, Syed Amin Ul Haque, Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication said, “Today, Ministry of IT and Telecommunication took another concrete step towards achieving the vision of Digital Pakistan.

With our ‘Smartphone for All’ initiative, we aim to improve the buying ability of marginalized people via instalment-based financing instruments and seek to encourage the digital inclusion of youth, women, and rural communities through early smartphone adoption. Improved access to smartphones is a key priority so that everyone in Pakistan can participate in the digital economy and the socio-economic benefit from increased smartphone penetration can be achieved.”

IT Minister also congratulated the Team of Universal Service Fund and its C.E.O Haaris Choudhary on their performance to provide connectivity in un-served and under-served areas of Pakistan. Minister IT said Google finally decided to open its office in Pakistan and has been registered in SECP.

A Google delegation will visit to Pakistan on 2nd week of December this year, while TikTok also planned to open office in Pakistan and Facebook authorities are in contact for the same. According to the details, Kistpay enables Shariah Compliant Smartphone Financing on leading smartphone brands with plans ranging from 3 to 12 months with the fastest application approval process.

Customers can avail the financing facility via the retail network, Telco partners, Kistpay website and through the Kistpay Whatsapp channel. Smartphones will be available through Kistpay in the price of range of PKR 10,000 to PKR 100,000.

In his welcome note, Julian Gorman, Head of Asia-Pacific (APAC), GSMA, said, “A connected population is the basic ingredient for a Digital Nation from which flows digital economic growth, empowered industry and entrepreneurs and improved livelihoods for every citizen.

We must embrace the imperative to get every person enabled with a smartphone and applaud Ministry of IT and Telecommunication and Kistpay for the bold commitment to smartphones for all Pakistan.”

In his keynote remarks, Major General (R) Amir Azeem Bajwa, Chairman, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) lauded the efforts of Kistpay and the GSMA for bridging the smartphone affordability gap as it is a key barrier to adoption of the mobile internet.

He further said that improved access to smartphones will increase access to information which will create micro-entrepreneurs and reduce poverty. In the opening remarks at the event, Syed Asif Jafri, CEO of Kist pay highlighted the challenges being faced by majority of Pakistanis in gaining access to both smartphones and Shariah Compliant Financing.

Mr. Asif Jafri added, “Kistpay will enable many millions of disconnected users for digital and financial inclusion so that they can enjoy the benefits of a digitally connected life.” Leading smartphone brands and startups companies such as Nokia, Xiaomi, Sehat Kahani, JazzCash, Chickoo, to name a few participated in the technology exhibition and showcased their products and services, which were all aimed at creating a digitally connected Pakistan. Participants of the event expressed great interest in these products and services, and it paved the way for future partnerships.

The exhibition was followed by panel discussions on enabling handset affordability with leading industry experts including Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO of Telenor, Hatem Bamatraf, President and CEO of PTCL Group, Jeanette Whyte, Head of Public Policy, APAC, GSMA, Asif Aziz, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Jazz and Asadullah Khan Niazi, Chief of Monitoring and Strategy, Universal Service Fund (USF) discussed the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of different sectors of the economy and suggested the way forward to increase smartphone affordability, digital connectivity and up scaling e-commerce in Pakistan.

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