Pakistan strips YC-backed Tag of fintech services, orders to pull apps • TechCrunch

Cheryl Allison

Pakistan’s central financial institution on Friday revoked the in-principle and pilot functions acceptance of Tag to work as an digital revenue establishment in a transfer that poses existential danger to the organization.

Point out Lender of Pakistan claimed in an order that it is revoking Tag’s approval to run as an digital dollars establishment, the authorization that is needed for entities to offer you modern, consumer-friendly and cost efficient low-benefit digital payments instruments this sort of as wallets, cards and contactless payments. The central bank has also ordered the startup to close all customers’ wallet accounts and pull its apps from the app merchants with rapid outcome.

The central bank’s action is in reaction to Tag violating regulatory specifications and “other concerns” that emerged throughout the pilot operations of the firm, it claimed. The final decision has been taken to “protect the curiosity of the public at huge,” it included.

The regulatory action follows a months-prolonged probe into Tag, which provides banking and economical expert services such as contactless payment, cards and wallets to users in Pakistan.

The startup has been accused of forging files to the central financial institution, in accordance to an before trader letter obtained by TechCrunch. The central financial institution purchased Tag in August to “immediately” refund all resources of consumers.

Tag is one particular of the quickest developing startups in Pakistan. It was valued at $100 million in its seed financing round in September previous yr. The startup counts Liberty City Ventures, Canaan Companions, Y Combinator, Addition and Mantis among the its backers.

The Point out Financial institution of Pakistan did not straight away answer to a ask for for remark by using phone and email.

Friday’s action is a different blow to the nascent but speedy increasing startup ecosystem in Pakistan, which clocked report funding final calendar year. Airlift, as soon as the most worthwhile startup in the South Asian industry, shut down in July this calendar year following it unsuccessful to protected fresh new funding.

Tag’s chief govt couldn’t be right away arrived at for remark. The startup will check out pleasing the Condition Bank’s conclusion, a supply with direct understanding of the issue instructed TechCrunch.

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