E-banking volume grows 24pc in Oct-Dec FY21: SBP

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has said that 296.7 million e-banking transactions (valuing Rs21.4 trillion) were carried out during the second quarter (October-December) of the current fiscal year (2020-21), registering a growth of 24pc by volume and 22pc by value over the same quarter of the last financial year.

The central bank on Thursday released its Quarterly Payment System Review (QPSR) for the second quarter of the current fiscal year 2020-21.

According to the report, most of the uptake in e-banking transactions were seen in internet and mobile banking. The volume of mobile banking transactions reached 44 million (up 147pc), valuing Rs1.12 trillion (up 192pc) compared to 17.8 million transactions valuing 382.5 billion in the same quarter of last year.

The number of registered mobile phone banking users reached 9.4 million, accounting an increase of 5pc. Similarly, 22 million internet banking transactions, worth Rs1.3 trillion, were recorded during this period compared to Rs1.1 trillion in the previous quarter.

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In response to SBP’s measures to incentivise the installation of Point of Sale (POS) machines to facilitate digital payments through debit or credit cards, the number of POS machines have shown a notable growth of 18pc during Q2FY21, reaching 62,480 installations throughout the country. On these POS machines, 23 million transactions amounting to Rs115 billion were processed during Q2FY21, which shows the positive impact of the market conducive policies adopted by SBP, particularly targeted towards increasing the payment acceptance infrastructure in Pakistan.

Card-based transactions on e-commerce portals also increased substantially, with e-commerce merchants processing 5.6 million transactions through payment cards amounting to Rs15 billion compared to 3.9 million valuing 11.9 billion in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, which marks a shift in the behaviour of the Pakistani population and also complements the government of Pakistan’s efforts to develop a more market-friendly landscape toward acceptance of payments by e-commerce merchants.

The total number of payment cards issued in the country stood at 44 million out of which 27.6 million are debit cards and 1.7 million are credit cards. Further, 7.6 million social welfare cards have been issued by banks on behalf of BISP, EOBI and other government organizations.

In the last few years, digital payment transactions in Pakistan have shown significant growth, reflecting the favourable impact of the SBP’s policies in shifting customer preferences. Expansion in digital payment infrastructure, as well as the emergence of new payment aggregators, have played a role in this growth.

In line with its declared objectives to digitize payment and financial services, SBP will continue promoting digitization in the country and expects the industry to support these efforts, which will increase convenience and financial inclusion for all Pakistanis.

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