On-site merchant verification

In the spirit of transparency, we would like to explain the process behind our on-site merchant verification. 

Safepay needs to make sure that all merchants it approves to accept payments using Safepay are legitimate and trustworthy. When a customer chooses to pay using Safepay, they should be sure that the merchant they are paying has been properly investigated by Safepay. This makes Safepay the safest payment option for customers in Pakistan to see and use.

  1. Who conducts an on-site merchant verification?
  2. What is involved in an on-site merchant verification?
  3. Business Verification Report?
  4. What does this cost you?

Who conducts an on-site merchant verification?

Safepay has partnered with Dunn & Bradstreet (Pakistan) to conduct on-site verifications of certain merchants during their onboarding process. As a regulated entity of the State Bank of Pakistan, Safepay is required to have processes in place to verify merchants (including their submitted documents) and their business activities so that our payment processing services do not facilitate the following:

  • Activities prohibited in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (such as gambling or deposit-taking without the relevant regulatory permissions)
  • Fraudulent activities or business practices that can put paying customers at risk
  • Money laundering and/or activities that can contribute towards the financing of terrorist activities

Safepay is unable to verify merchants physically itself. We outsource this activity to Dunn & Bradstreet (Pakistan) to conduct this as they are specifically equipped to do this efficiently across Pakistan and to a standard that our compliance team is comfortable with. To learn more about Dunn & Bradstreet (Pakistan), you should watch this video.

What is involved in a physical merchant verification?

Dunn & Bradstreet follows the below process to conduct an on-site verification of a merchant to create a business verification report (Business Verification Report) for Safepay to receive and analyse:

  1. Dunn & Bradstreet schedules an  appointment  for  a  site  visit  by  calling  the  respective  merchant,  as  per  information provided by Safepay. 
  2. A Dunn & Bradstreet representative visits the given address and conducts an in-person interview with the merchant representative.
  3. During the visit, up to 4 time-stamped photographs are taken by the Dunn & Bradstreet representative while noting geo-coordinates for their record.
  4. A neighbourhood check is also performed, through which basic confirmation regarding the existence of the business is obtained from businesses or residents located nearest to the merchant address. In some cases, additional references may be collected from the merchant which Dunn & Bradstreet may use for verification. 

The Business Verification Report is shared with Safepay according to the following timelines for call cases where there is no external hurdles in terms of contacting a merchant and performing the site visit:

Cities Delivery Time – Business Days
Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi 3-4
Hyderabad, Sukkur, Multan, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Sargodha, Peshawar, Quetta 4-5
All other cities  5-6

Business Verification Report

A Business Verification Report is a report based on the following information gathered by Dunn & Bradstreet during the merchant verification process. Based on this Safepay will either receive a positive or negative assessment on such a merchant. A note is also included to mention all critical points observed by the field officer during the visit which Safepay will take in to account. 

Please note 

Based on information provided by a merchant to Dunn & Bradstreet, this would be probed further in case of irregularities and disconnects in the information. In the spirit of transparency we will share any report provided by Dunn & Bradstreet with you so that you are able to understand the conclusions that they have reached. 

1 Business location Address visited
Location map
Office/business address with the
nearest landmark and GPS coordinates
Type of premises (Office / Factory / Mfg. unit /
warehouse/ house / apartment etc.)
Premises ownership (owned, rented, shared space)
Contact information (phone, email, website, social media links)
Addresses of branches (if any) other than the given address
Person met / designation of the person met
Neighbourhood check
Business activities observed
More than one business operating from the same address
2 Registration details Legal structure
Date of establishment / years operational
Registration numbers (Revenue Boards/SECP/Chambers etc)
3 Contact points Names and contacts of other key personnel
Lines of business (brief summary of products / services)
Types of customers
Average monthly / annual sales turnover
Account details (bank name, account number, branch)
Number of employees and category (permanent, contractual / daily wagers, etc)
4 Documents observed Registration documents as applicable
Company profile / CNIC / NTN
Any other document made available to be seen by the merchant during visit
Online verification of registration or memberships such as
FBR / SECP / City Chambers / Associations etc

What does this cost you?

Dunn & Bradstreet (Pakistan) will charge a merchant directly for the on-site merchant verification. Currently this charge is USD 100. 

We do think this is a high charge but we have negotiated this rate based on the volume of merchants that Safepay puts forward to Dunn & Bradstreet (Pakistan). Please note that Safepay does not make any money from an on-site verification and this charge. 

The advantage of having this on-site verification and being approved by Safepay is that you are able to increase your revenues. This cost can be recovered over a few transactions that are processed using Safepay because your customers choose to trust Safepay to process their payments.

To learn more about how businesses benefit from being verified read this article in Dawn. 

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