PTA, SBP sign MoU on regulatory framework for mobile banking
ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Regulatory Framework for Mobile Banking Interoperability to formalize cooperation between the two institutions for common objectives. Minister of State for IT and Telecom Anusha Rahman Ahmad Khan was the chief guest of the event. Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, Chairman PTA, Dr. Syed Ismail Shah and CEO and President Mobilink Jeffrey Hedberg, witnessed the ceremony. Addressing the ceremony, Anusha Rahman Ahmad Khan, said that, these Regulations would not only provide a level playing field for telcos and financial institutions, but also introduced a neutral third party model where telcos and banks could join hands together to create a sustainable mobile banking ecosystem.
The Minister said that, the objective of the strategy was to build momentum in order to achieve financial inclusion targets of National Financial Inclusion Strategy that also aimed at providing access to 50% of the adult population by 2020. Mobile money services provide a convenient and viable channel for financial services to the unserved people in Pakistan. There are almost 29 million mobile broadband subscribers in Pakistan, which provides a lucrative platform for proliferation of value added financial services through enhanced features through mobile applications. Therefore, telcos and financial institutions should put efforts to tap this potential, the minister added.
The Chairman PTA while addressing the audience, highlighted the potential of mobile Banking services in Pakistan and said that there was a huge incentive to capitalize on the next generation mobile banking opportunities and all institutions should work together to include the unbanked population in banking services through digital platforms in the next 5 years. The Chairman said that, telecom operators would ensure confidentiality of end user authentication and technical transactions related data. Governor State Bank of Pakistan while speaking at the event, said that MoU signed between PTA and State Bank would be remembered as a mile stone in the history of telecom and banking sectors.
He said that branchless banking was a modern facility for the people of Pakistan adding that it would bring convince of use to the customers and a positive impact to the GDP growth of the country. On this occasion, Jeffrey Hedberg, CEO and President Mobilink also shared his views on Digital Financial Services growth. It may be mentioned here that, a joint regulatory committee was formulated between SBP and PTA. Draft Regulations were discussed with the relevant stakeholders. SBP and PTA signed MoU to develop a cohesive regulatory framework that leads towards achieving the common objective of providing the low cost mobile banking services. PTA-SBP collaboration will play a key role in achieving the objectives of NFIS and for the future growth of digital financial services and financial inclusion in Pakistan.
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