Surge in broadband connectivity depicts massive impact on digital banking

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ISLAMABAD: Due to the rapid growth of the telecommunication sector, the country has undergone an impressive transformation over the last four years.

E-banking transactions have posted a double-digit growth in value during the second quarter of the current fiscal year of 2017-18 as the development of digital payment platforms is attracting users towards cashless payments, the central bank said.

Introduction of Mobile Broadband Services (3G / 4G/LTE) in Pakistan is one of the biggest achievements for the country as the statistics issued by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have shown that the number of mobile phone users reached 149 million by March 2018 and broadband subscriber reached 56 million.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said e-banking channels, including real-time online, mobile phone, internet and call centre banking, automated teller and point of sale (POS) machines and e-commerce sites processed 186.7 million transactions worth Rs11.7 trillion, up 8.67 per cent in volume and 28 per cent in value in the October-December period.

“Cashless or digital payments have seen a rise in the country due to the development of digital payment platform and the introduction of PSO/PSPs (payment service providers) across various market segments,” SBP said in a quarterly payment systems review.

Transactions of Pakistan Real Time Interbank Settlement Mechanism (Prism), which is the second major source of digital payments in Pakistan, grew 19.1 per cent in volume to 0.42 million and 6.3 per cent in value to Rs93.6 trillion in the three-month period as compared to the corresponding period a year earlier.

According to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), a total of 2.3 million Internet Banking users were registered by the end of June 2017 with 25 banks offering a variety of financial services through Internet Banking (IB) like Intrabank and Interbank Fund transfer, scheduled fund transfers, Utility Bills Payments, Mobile Air-time top up, Intra-bank credit card payments, School fee payments etc.

In the last outgoing financial year 2016-17, Internet Banking processed 25.2 million transactions worth Rs968.7 billion during FY17 showing YoY growth of 32.5 per cent and 10 per cent in volume and value of transactions, respectively.

Utility Bills Payments contributed 9 million (35.9 per cent) in volume and Rs18.6 billion (1.9 per cent) in value of transactions while the remaining shares consist of other miscellaneous payments including school/university fee submissions, mutual fund payments, credit card payments, etc.

The share of Intra Bank Fund transfer transactions is 6.6 million (26.1 per cent) and Rs258.2 billion (26.7 per cent) in volume and value of transactions, respectively, whereas the shareInter-BankBank Funds transfers transactions in volume and value of transactions is 7.5 million (29.7 per cent) and Rs310.1 billion (32 per cent) respectively.

Internet Banking also facilitated 88.2 million non-financial transactions which include pay order, cheques books, bank account statements and Debit Cards.