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Pakistani shoppers to soon enjoy Shariah-compliant ‘Buy-Now, Pay-Later’ service

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People shop in the Selfridges department store on Oxford street, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions ease, in London, Britain April 12, 2021. — Reuters/File
People shop in the Selfridges department store on Oxford street, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions ease, in London, Britain April 12, 2021. — Reuters/File
  • Lahore-based Taro Technologies secures $3.5m in pre-seed funding.
  • Retailers can soon offer installment payment options to Pakistan’s consumers.
  • Startup intends to support consumer lifestyle needs with an aim to increase purchasing power and liquidity.

Lahore-based Taro Technology — an emerging Fintech startup in Pakistan, has secured $3.5 million in pre-seed funding through a combination of strategic partnerships and angel investors to launch a Buy-Now, Pay-Later (BNPL) venture in Pakistan.

The BNPL venture aims to help provide new forms of credit to all Pakistanis, especially the underbanked.

Taro Technologies, being the only Shariah-friendly BNPL Company in Pakistan, plans to provide flexible payment options and access to new forms of credit to Pakistani customers, while also enabling merchants (who are looking for more payment options) to grow sales and increase their market reach.

Pakistan’s e-commerce sector has seen a lot of growth in the last fiscal year of 2020-21, with a spend of around $7.2 billion.

Keeping the booming growth of the sector, Taro seeks to support consumer lifestyle needs with an aim to increase purchasing power and liquidity.

Retailers can soon quickly and easily offer Taro’s instalment payment options to Pakistan’s consumers, both in-store and online.

According to a statement issued in this regard, as part of their pre-seed round, Taro has partnered with Dubai-based Cashew Payments – a BNPL leader in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – to accelerate its 2022 first-quarter launch and growth.

Taro CEO and former Silicon Valley Apple engineer Mustafa Khan have stressed that this partnership will enable the fintech startup to be an established player straight out of the gate, stating: “Our collaboration with Cashew provides critical insights into risk, merchant acquisition, operations, and customer retention. Those insights paired with support from their experienced and accomplished leadership team position us for a strong launch and to quickly dominate the market.”

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The partnership with Cashew Payments puts the local Lahore fintech company on the global tech map for online instant financing solutions.

“I am thrilled to be launching BNPL in Pakistan through Taro. I’ve noticed Pakistanis are eager for access to new technology that puts them in control. By offering lending services to a wider range of people, we can help provide the control and flexibility they desire,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cashew Payments CEO Ammar Afif said: “As we’ve grown our business in the GCC, we recognised the need for retailers in Pakistan to have a seamless way of offering flexible payment options to consumers in multiple industries.

“Through our partnership with Taro, all retailers in Pakistan can soon rapidly activate Taro’s instalment payments for consumers across all channels online and offline.”

While the GCC has close ties with Pakistan, learnings from the GCC will still need to be tailored for Pakistan before they can be successfully applied locally.

As such, Taro CEO Mustafa Khan, now based in Lahore, has been busy expanding his local network.

“To prime our Q1 launch, we have also been busy on the ground in Lahore hiring a talented core team with significant fintech expertise. Along with our core team, we’ve arranged partnerships with local financial and technical firms that will ensure a strong and successful launch,” he mentioned.

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