On­line bank­ing

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Dur­ing Jan-March 2018 Pak­istan Real-Time In­ter­bank Set­tle­ment Mech­a­nism ( PRISM) pro­cessed 446,500 trans­ac­tions worth Rs 90.1 tril­lion show­ing a quar­terly growth of 6.7 per­cent in terms of vol­ume of trans­ac­tions. This is dis­closed in the lat­est SBP's Quar­terly Pay­ment Sys­tem Re­view which shows that dig­i­tal chan­nels have been fast re­plac­ing pa­per­based trans­ac­tions of banks. Ac­cord­ing to a re­port, all but 23 branches of banks in the coun­try are now pro­vid­ing on­line bank­ing ser­vices to their cus­tomers. Com­mer­cial banks de­ployed 426 more ATMs dur­ing the quar­ter, tak­ing the coun­try-wide to­tal to 13,835: a 3.2 per­cent in­crease dur­ing the pe­riod. Th­ese ATMs pro­cessed 121.6 mil­lion trans­ac­tions valu­ing at Rs 1.4 tril­lion dur­ing Jan­uary-March, 2018, show­ing a quar­terly growth of 5 per­cent and 7 per­cent in vol­ume and value of trans­ac­tions re­spec­tively as com­pared to the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

A de­tailed anal­y­sis shows that ATMs trans­ac­tions have had the high­est share of 95 per­cent in vol­ume and 87 per­cent in value. In Pak­istan, 26 banks are of­fer­ing In­ter­net Bank­ing ser­vices and 8.4 mil­lion trans­ac­tions worth Rs 332.8 bil­lion were pro­cessed through this mode, show­ing a growth of 13.7 per­cent in value. Nine­teen banks are pro­vid­ing mo­bile phone bank­ing fa­cil­i­ties to their cus­tomers with the num­ber of reg­is­tered phone users at 3.1 mil­lion. Th­ese users pro­cessed 5.9 mil­lion trans­ac­tions worth Rs 112.8 bil­lion, de­pict­ing a quar­terly in­crease of 12.2 per­cent and 23 per­cent in vol­ume and value, re­spec­tively. As on March 31, 2018, to­tal num­ber of pay­ment cards reached 40.1 mil­lion in­clud­ing debit cards (21 mil­lion), credit cards (1.4 mil­lion), ATM only cards (8.5 mil­lion), pre­paid cards (0.2 mil­lion) and so­cial wel­fare cards (8.9 mil­lion). Dur­ing Jan­uary-March, 2018, 142.7 mil­lion trans­ac­tions valu­ing at Rs 1.6 tril­lion were pro­cessed by th­ese cards, of which the share of the debit cards was the high­est at 85 per­cent in value.

It is a wel­come devel­op­ment that bank­ing through dig­i­tal chan­nels has been gain­ing in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity in the coun­try in the re­cent pe­riod and pay­ments through th­ese chan­nels is now well above the tra­di­tional method of pa­per-based trans­ac­tions. This has been made pos­si­ble due to SBP's sup­port­ive poli­cies and the keen­ness of banks to ex­pand and up­grade their in­fra­struc­ture in line with the in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. A num­ber of con­ducive de­vel­op­ments like higher growth rate, im­proved se­cu­rity con­di­tions, higher literacy rate, pub­lic­ity by banks and in­crease in the CPEC-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties may have also helped to sup­port the growth of dig­i­tal bank­ing in the coun­try. Al­though all the stake­hold­ers have played their part, the role of the SBP has been very cru­cial in pro­mot­ing devel­op­ment of a mod­ern and ro­bust pay­ment sys­tem with­out com­pro­mis­ing fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity.

In cooperation with the in­ter­nal stake­hold­ers as well as the World Bank, SBP is now for­mu­lat­ing a Na­tional Pay­ment Sys­tems Strat­egy and de­vel­op­ing key pay­ment in­fra­struc­ture. It has also re­vised the PRISM Op­er­at­ing Rules to bet­ter align them with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. SBP also in­tends to work on a multi-pronged strat­egy such as Mi­cro Pay­ment Gate­way (MPG) and Au­to­mated Clear­ing House (ACH) to pro­mote dig­i­tal fi­nan­cial ser­vices for both re­tail and whole­sale pay­ments. A Dig­i­tal Trans­ac­tion Ac­count Scheme was ap­proved in Jan­uary, 2017, aim­ing to fa­cil­i­tate 2minute ac­count open­ing process and al­low trans­ac­tions with a ba­sic/fea­ture mo­bile phone from any­where at any time. SBP has also de­signed a scheme for pro­mo­tion of home re­mit­tances through Mo­bile Wal­let to pro­mote a swift and cost-ef­fec­tive way of re­ceiv­ing re­mit­tances from abroad. All th­ese mea­sures will pro­mote fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion and en­cour­age sav­ings habit in the coun­try.

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