‘SBP committed to making supply chains cashless’

LAHORE: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Deputy Governor Sima Kamil said on Tuesday that the central bank is committed to digitizing corporate supply chains in order to help achieve the goal of digital financial inclusion. 

“It is the overarching aim of the State Bank to ensure a safe and secure financial system. The other role that we have is financial inclusion. What we want is to reduce cash and promote financial inclusion through digitization,” the SBP deputy governor said during a webinar titled ‘Cashless Supply Chain 2020’, organised by B2B payments facilitator Haball Private Limited. 

The deputy governor noted that the majority of supply chains in Pakistan, whether in rural or urban areas, from manufacturer to distributor to end customer, are cash and paper-based. 

“This makes the economy undocumented and ineffective for all players. So it is in the interest of the country to have entities like Haball that would assist in [introducing] paperless regime,” she said.

Corporate supply chains have been a big challenge for the central bank, she said, adding that due to the presence of cash, synergies between digital financial services and corporate supply chain actors carry immense potential for digital financial inclusion.   

“This will not only create transparency for corporates but will also provide a bankable identity to unbanked distributors and retailers. It is important that they see value in this.” 

Meanwhile, Kamil also highlighted the steps taken by SBP to promote digital financial inclusion. 

“The SBP has rolled out EMIs, rules for simplified digital onboarding of merchants, deploying QR codes for payments, and a flagship launched with the help of the World Bank namely National Payment Systems Strategy,” she said. “Under this [strategy], we tried to build a modern and robust payment system for the country that enables the provision of cost effective and easily available digital financial services. The flagship project for this is the micropayments gateway.  

The deputy governor further stated that the micropayment gateway will move towards bulk payments, retail payments as well as push payments. 

“We believe this will transform the payments ecosystem and provide a full fledged solution to the challenge of branchless banking wallets, and result in a rapid achievement of our goals of national financial inclusion.”

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Taimoor Hassan
Taimoor Hassan
The author is a staff member and can be reached at [email protected]
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