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Telenor Microfinance Bank has reported revenue of Rs18 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2019.

This was led by expansion in the branchless banking customer base of the Bank’s Easypaisa wallet. A two-fold increase in Year-Over-Year wallet accounts was witnessed with more than 3 million increase in monthly active users as compared to 2018.

During the year 2019, the bank invested Rs8bn towards building a more robust payment and lending platform enabled through technology that will be able to serve millions of individual and small enterprise businesses by giving them access to financial services digitally.

In line with its significant investment towards growth and expansion, Telenor Microfinance Bank reported a net loss of Rs16.3bn for the year ended December 31, 2019.

While a major part of the net loss is attributed to investments in expanding the digital payments business, the other contributor is credit impairment loss, for which a provision of Rs8.9bn was made by taking into account expected losses and credit irregularities that also include fraud.

In September, 2019, irregularities were identified in the loan portfolio that also included cases of collusion to commit fraud between employees and people outside the Bank which was immediately reported to the State Bank of Pakistan and a detailed investigation was launched.

As per the bank, the deposit business has not been affected and continues to operate on a robust platform.

“2019 has been a remarkable year for us in terms of growth. Despite challenges in our credit business, we are excited about how we have repositioned ourselves to become the leading provider of digital financial services in the country. We have had an impressive growth in our Easypaisa customer base during the last year serving 6.4 million mobile wallet users in 2019 as compared to 3.3 million in 2018. Similarly our depositor base grew by 86% to 17.18 million in 2019,” said M. Mudassar Aqil, President & CEO of Telenor Microfinance Bank.

“With the capital injection by our shareholder of US$70 million in November, 2019, we are stable and on strong financial footing. We have implemented robust internal controls and risk management policies to further streamline our branch banking business.”

In the Year 2019 alone, the Bank handled transactions of almost Rs1 trillion through its agent network and served over 10 million customers through its various channels. 2019 also saw an increase of 34% in the total value processed per transfer from Mobile Accounts.

Similarly, Easypaisa App users increased by about 300% to over 2 million representing the highest number of users of any financial app in Pakistan.