May 11, 2017, Lahore and Washington, DC –FINCA Microfinance Bank in Pakistan, one of the fastest growing in the country, announced today it received the Smart Certification recognizing its deep commitment to client protection. FINCA Microfinance Bank in Pakistan joins FINCA Impact Finance subsidiaries in Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Kosovo in receiving this recognition of high ethical standards in the treatment of clients.
“Through an external review of our client protection policies, the Smart Campaign has recognized our high standards and progress in putting our clients first,” said M. Mudassar Aqil, CEO of FINCA Microfinance Bank. “We are proud to be the first bank in the country to be certified for our deep-seated promise to treating clients fairly.”
FINCA Microfinance Bank is one of Pakistan’s largest financial institutions and serves nearly 450,000 low-income entrepreneurs, small businesses and savers. In 2017, they will be launching a subscription based mobile wallet which allows clients to conduct digital payments entirely via their smartphone, including wallet-to-wallet funds transfer, bill payments and top-ups of prepaid cell phone service. This innovative financial technology has the potential to dramatically expand access to responsible financial services in a country where only 9% of the population has an account at a formal financial institution.
The Smart Campaign is a global effort to embed a set of client-protection principles into the fabric of the microfinance industry. This Certification is awarded to financial organizations that institutionalize the Smart Campaign’s seven Client Protection Principles, which include: appropriate product design and delivery, prevention of over-indebtedness, transparency, responsible pricing, fair and respectful treatment of clients, privacy of client data, and mechanisms for complaint resolution.
Isabelle Barrès, Director of Smart Campaign, said, “FINCA Microfinance Bank is joining over 80 leading financial institutions that are setting a high bar to pursue ethical standards for the people who need it the most. Congratulations to FINCA Microfinance Bank for committing to be a leader in client protection.”