Visa & UBL joins hands to provide banking facilities to IDPs
Visa, a leading payment solutions provider and UBL one of the country’s largest private commercial banks today signed an agreement for the deployment of electronic Point of Sale (POS) machines at designated places in the northern areas of the country which include D.I Khan, Mardan, Mingora, Batkhela and Peshawar.
More than 200 POS machines, provided by Visa Inc. as part of their Corporate Social Respon-sibility program, will be dep-loyed across UBL’s extensive merchant network, enabling internally displaced persons(IDPs) from Swat and Malakand Divisions to use them to buy food supplies and items of daily use.
Present at the signing ceremony were Mr. Amer Pasha, Country Manager Visa Inc, Mr. Atif R. Bokhari, President & CEO UBL, executives of UBL, guests from the banking industry and representatives of print and electronic media.
After an initial distribution of 404,675 Visa cards under the program, NADRA and UBL extended card availability to a total of 1.4 million families in the region. At the same time, UBL and Visa have installed point-of-sale (POS) terminals at retail stores providing convenient and ready access to cash to the IDPs.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Amer Pasha, Country Manager Visa said “Being a socially responsible company, Visa is fully committed to the well being of every individual in every country where it operates. By installing the POS terminals and providing IDPs with Wallet Visa debit cards, with the collaboration of UBL and NADRA, we have brought convenience to IDPs whilst ensuring safety of their funds.
Also speaking on the occasion, Mr. Atif R. Bokhari, President & CEO UBL said “In parts of the country and in social strata where bank accounts were seldom maintained, we have now created over 427,498 new bank account-holders who would, in the short term benefit from the financial aid which has been routed through their accounts. In the mid to longterm this will open up many new avenues for these people to obtain bank financing from UBL in order to meet their business and personal needs.”
Wallet Visa Debit Cards not only deliver a heightened level of convenience and security expected of a Visa product, including the facility to pay for purchase of goods and services and receive itemized bank statements covering all financial transactions carried out, they will also enable card-holders in managing their daily spend better.
In addition to providing technological support and POS machines, Visa, as part of their financial literacy programs across the globe, is planning to run an educational campaign for IDPs in the northern areas of Pakistan within the deployment timeframe of the POS. Visa will also be distributing an educational brochure showing step by step how to use Visa cards at ATM and at POS machines, apart from running a radio campaign to support the educational cycle explaining the tools and benefits that come with Visa Debit cards.
PIA Committed to Fulfil its Corporate Social Responsibility
PIA believes in building strong relationships with its stakeholders and the communities in which it operates. PIA practices active corporate itizenship through social services, support for non-profit organizations, medical services for employees, the promotion of sports, and educational initiatives.
PIA has brought diversified CSR activities, under the one umbrella of Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. PIA has invested in an innovative and educational Planetarium project which is open to the general public. PIA supports NGOs, and fully sponsors Al-Shifa Trust, which provides relief and rehabilitation services to special children suffering from cerebral palsy and other mental disorders.
PIA promotes initiatives to impart education and skills to its employees and their families. Some institutions include the PIA Training Center, PIA Model Secondary School which provides quality education to the children of PIA’s employees at an affordable fee and 1500 children and nearby community are benefiting from quality education, and the PIA Industrial Training Institute.
PIA is committed to Corporate Safety & Quality Assurance, and is proudly maintaining its IQSA certification and thus IATA registration since 2005. Its Corporate Safety & Quality Assurance Division actively engages in advocacy sessions to create awareness through print publications and sharing of experiences. Acknowledging the significance of Emergency Response Planning (ERP), PIA has set up an ERP section to handle emergencies. This section also trains volunteers in the areas of aircraft emergencies, rescue, basic first aid, and fire fighting.
PIA’s Health, Safety & Environment initiative’s objective is to mature the airline’s HSE systems to a level which will eventually lead to OHSAS-18001 and ISO 14001 certifications.
PIA has recently collaborated with WWF Pakistan in promoting efforts on nature and cleaner environment.