Inov8: Leading the Digital Payment Revolution – Business Recorder

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Published by Business Recorder on Thursday, April 23, 2015

Inov8 is the first mobile payments company out of Pakistan – an enabler for the banked, the unbanked, integrator of services facilitating governments, regulators, banks and telecom service providers, hence helping transform and evolve the mobile payment ecosystem in the country. Today Inov8 is being rated as one of the fastest growing mobile payment companies in the region, as it enters new international markets.

Unlike the many resellers, agents and integrators that can be found in the Pakistan and regional markets, Inov8 takes great pride in being the only mobile financial services player out of Pakistan, and one of the very few in the region, with their own set of products that have been designed, developed and deployed in Pakistan, and are now getting major international traction. 
“We have the best product set in the market, the largest on ground team in the country, the time tested fastest execution, and believe we have finally broken the myth that as a Pakistani bank/operator, you need to pay exorbitant prices to a big brand technology supplier while being given low priority, to be able to deliver a competitive digital payment solution. We are currently approximately 30% of the Pakistan market by number of deployments, and the fastest growing.” Bashir Sheikh, President and CSO, Inov8 Limited.

When Inov8 first started its operations in Pakistan in 2004, there were limited laws or regulations pertaining to mobile financial services. Pakistan’s cellular networks offered limited data connectivity and most banks did not have centralised core banking or online offerings. There were major challenges for financial inclusion and the fight against cash. Digital and electronic payments were virtually non-existent, especially for the financially challenged masses. Very creative and often unreliable methodology to send money to loved ones was the norm.

On the rails provided by some of the most advanced regulations for branchless banking, the entire industry has taken off. Today, Inov8′s technology is powering thousands of branchless banking agents spanning all of Pakistan. Millions of payments with value approaching a billion US dollars have already been transacted on branchless banking networks using Inov8 technology.

To promote digital payments and financial inclusion Inov8 technology is now powering one of the largest government to person and person to government initiatives in the region. Using Inov8 technology The Bank of Punjab will be enabling salary, pension, subsidy and relief payments for the Government of Punjab and will also be facilitating collection of payments for the government including taxes, duties fines and other such payments.

While business progressed, realities of the war on terror ravaged across Pakistan. Millions of people were dispersed overnight with internally displaced Pakistani’s needing financial support of the Government. There was a race against time to provide a system to disburse funds for their sustenance. Being on the ground with a dedicated team, Inov8 was able to deliver a customised solution which ensured regulatory compliance yet allowed the government to easily disburse funds to the displaced Pakistani’s. The disbursements are ongoing via bank’s using Inov8 technology, and to date, over $75 million have been disbursed to over a 100,000 families.

Today, branchless banking is one of the fastest growing areas of banking in Pakistan. The highest growth has come in over-the-counter-transactions. Inov8 is helping create a similar growth in digital payments for banked customers via solutions like Falcon and AGENTmate.

“The Falcon and AGENTmate payment and acceptance solutions are setting the benchmark for omni channel capability and creating waves in the Pakistan and regional markets. With major deployments underway, the new platform is helping realiseInov8′s vision of going global.” Hasnain Sheikh, Chairman and CEO, Inov8 Limited.

Inov8 is changing life as we know it by integrating and connecting payments to your everyday life. Banked customers are an integral driver of accelerating change in the payments ecosystem. Inov8 products and solutions make it easier for people to pay by providing new and innovative means of payment. At the same time Inov8 offers solutions for anyone with a mobile phone to receive payments easily, be it a restaurant, retail outlet, delivery person or even just a friend who is owed money.

Inov8′s new Falcon platform runs on any smartphone and lets you link any card of a partnering bank to your mobile wallet. It allows you to make digital payments through your phone at all partnering locations – real or virtual. The system is fully enabled for location based services, loyalty and rewards; meaning you could do a quick search for restaurants in your area and Falcon would show you locations nearby. It would also show discounts available at these locations. Alternately, a participating merchant (store/restaurant etc) can send you a discount coupon as you drive or walk by. Complete integration with social media platforms allows you to share your experience, discounts or other features with your friends conveniently. The power of social media is unparalleled today both for consumers and merchants, and Falcon allows you to harness that power seamlessly. Falcon is the only mobile payments platform that has deep integration with three social media networks.

The beauty of the Inov8 payment solution that makes it equally attractive for both emerging and first world markets is the accompanying acceptance solution – AGENTmate. AGENTmate is the world’s first mobile point of sale (mPOS) solution with 12 channels for acquiring payments. Other than allowing the retailer to perform traditional branchless banking transaction like money transfer, cash deposit and withdrawal from branchless banking accounts, AGENTmate allows a retailer or merchant to accept payments either via magnetic stripe card or a chip-based card, or by scanning a QR code, or by simply tapping your phone to the retailers phone via NFC. However, AGENTmate is not restricted to NFC payments via smartphones. It also allows non-smartphone users to pay via a simple NFC sticker, which provides them with similar tap and pay facility.

Inov8 is the lifestyle enabling mobile payment company soon to enter more markets across the region. Inov8 has been a trusted partner for more than a decade for over 20 service providers and banks in the country – promising quality, credibility, transparency and most of all a dedicated team of professionals who understand the payment needs of the future and help make them a reality today.

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