ISLAMABAD: The Natio­nal Database and Registra­tion Authority (Nadra) has rolled out a digital payment platform that will serve as an alternative to automated teller machines (ATMs) and let citizens pay utility bills and identity documents.

The development comes as Nadra, the largest government database organisation, has integrated its platform with 1Link, the largest payment gateway, creating a strategic alliance to administer and evolve an e-payment network in the country through Nadra’s e-Sahulat franchise network.

The partnership will enable the more than 17,000 e-Sahulat outlets to perform fund transfers, cash-in and cash-out, and public-to-government (P2G), government-to-public (G2P), and public-to-public payments (P2P) payments.

Nadra Chairman Tariq Malik and 1Link CEO Najeeb Agrawalla signed an agreement to this effect at the authority’s headquarters in Islamabad on Friday.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Malik said Nadra has been taking initiatives to improve e-governance by empowering both public and private sector organisations through its wide range of digital services and expertise.

He said Nadra’s e-Sahulat was one of the most advanced digital financial service delivery channels, reaching the grassroots level across the country.

“We are enhancing state capacity to deliver digital public goods and move towards electronic financial transactions for transparency and accountability. This would enable financial inclusion as well,” he said.

Integrating Nadra’s platform with 1Link would also enable citizens to implement national digital payment and financial inclusion objectives in the future, he said, adding that cash-in, cash-out was an opportunity for account holders of more than 40 banks to transfer and withdraw cash across the country using biometric verification.

With this partnership, Nadra’s 17,000 plus e-Sahulat outlets will double the capacity of more than 16,500 1Link ATMs across the country, through which citizens will be able to deposit and withdraw cash easily and conveniently.

The Nadra chairman told Dawn that the digital platform’s software would be provided to youth in far-flung areas, enabling them to continue their education by earning to pay their fee.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2022

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