The World Bank estimates that half of Pakistan’s population lacks access to basic financial services, with less than 5 per cent being women citing ‘distance’ as a major impediment. Thanks to Telenor’s “EasyPaisa” and other new similar services, the silver lining is that Pakistan has the potential to create a mobile money revolution in Southeast Asia.
Of the 13 per cent adults having bank accounts, few access financial services due to lack of knowledge and reluctance of banks to educate customers about the benefits.
With an aim to solve the problems related to financial inclusion, personal finance comparison portal have cropped up across Pakistan. MyBankersOnline was the first company to enter this space. The site was launched in 2013 by Saad Niaz, a former relationship manager with Standard Chartered Bank. The startup is backed by SEED Ventures, which has injected US$ 35,000 Series A investment into the firm. MyBankersOnline expects to break even by 2016. The site currently attracts 1,000 unique visitors per month and has a domain and page authority of 13 and 18, respectively.
CompareBanks is another player in this domain. Launched in 2014 by Naumeena Suhail, a design entrepreneur from Karachi, the site currently attracts under 1,000 unique visitors per month while its current domain authority and page authority are 14 and 18 respectively.
To give you a context, CompareGlobalGroup’s CompareHero.my currently attracts over 100,000 unique monthly visitors, has signed up over a dozen BFSI (banking, financial services, insurance) partners. The portal has a domain and page authority of 38 and 48, respectively.
A few days ago, two former bankers started KarloCompare, a home-grown personal finance product comparison platform. With this platform, its co-founders Ali Ladhubhai and Sumair Farooqui envision to help Pakistani consumers save time and money when it comes to discovering, comparing and applying for personal finance and other products.
The duo aims to improve the customer journey with KarloCompare and enable people to access personal finance services in Pakistan. Users will be able to browse an entire range of credit card, personal/auto loan, travel/auto insurance, and broadband offers available in the market. At the same time, service providers will have the opportunity to build digital acquisition strategies that help them access new segments of the market.
The platform debuted with credit cards and personal loans, with the other product categories such as broadband services to be added in the near future.
The co-founders are excited about the potential impact: “We hope to give consumers the opportunity to access a product or service that meets their preferences and requirements. KarloCompare will help improve the product and service literacy amongst Pakistani consumers by ensuring the information on the platform is comprehensive and unbiased. What sets KarloCompare apart is our approach to list the information from all providers in the specific vertical regardless of whether the provider is our acquisition partner or not. Customers will finally be able to make a fully informed decision.”
KarloCompare is a venture of Compare On Pakistan Private Limited, and is headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan.
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