According to figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan for branchless banking (BB), Easypaisa retained its number one position with 9.1m accounts and it constituted a 46.1pc share in the total branchless banking in the country.
As per SBP’s review of the branchless banking sector, there is intense competition between the three major players Easypaisa, Jazzcash and Omni. The rankings largely remained unchanged for the BB sector as Jazzcash had 7.9m accounts followed by Omni with 2.4m.
During the quarter Oct-Dec 2016, branchless banking had shown key growth indicators. The number of transactions recorded an increase of 21.5pc, the number of accounts rose by 18pc and the average deposits per account went up by 17pc with respect to the previous quarter. Branchless banking accounts also rose to 19.9m during the quarter Oct-Dec 2016. The number of agents in the branchless banking sector also rose by 2.2pc, reaching to 359,806 by the end of this quarter. Easypaisa rules the roost by having a 30pc market share, Jazzcash 19pc and UBL Omni at 12pc.
In all provinces branchless banking providers have been able to increase their presence. All these service providers require establishing business strategies in line with demographic and geographic requirements of the country and focusing on increasing their digital financial inclusion in unserved areas.
The National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) is focusing on 50pc of the adult population and 25pc of adult women population to have bank accounts by 2020. Therefore it is imperative that BB players focus on broadening new client centric products & services, innovate, encourage BB transactions, opening of new accounts, enhance usage and mobilize deposits so that NFIS targets are met.
In the current quarter, the number of female customers having BB accounts rose to 4.1m out of a total of 19.9m BB accounts.