Mobile banking payments surge 178% to Rs1.3 trillion during third quarter

Shahnawaz AkhterWeb Editor

28th Jun, 2021. 02:44 pm
Mobile Banking

KARACHI: The payments through mobile banking have registered a sharp increase of 178 per cent year-on-year (YoY) during the third quarter (January-March) 2021 due to high demand for digital payments during the coronavirus pandemic, a report issued by the central bank showed on Monday.

The payments through the mobile banking channels surged to Rs1.3 trillion during the quarter under review, compared with Rs467 billion in the same quarter of the last year.

Similarly, the payments through Internet banking channels also recorded an increase of 109 per cent to Rs1.56 trillion during the quarter (January-March) 2021, compared with Rs748 billion in the same quarter of the last year, it showed.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said: “As evident from the data, the increase in [the] transactions through internet and mobile banking channels have been quite promising, as these channels have provided an easy and round-the-clock alternative to its customers during the Covid-19 pandemic to fulfil their daily financial and banking needs.”

It also said the numbers can clearly lead us to believe the consumers are realising the benefits that the digital payment channels have in our daily lives. This complements the increase in the trust of the consumers in the usage of digital channels.

“This could have not been possible without the continuous efforts by [the] SBP to digitalise the economy, which has the potential to change [the] overall payments landscape of the country for the better,” the report added.

The payment for e-commerce also increased 115 per cent to Rs15.3 billion during the quarter January-March, 2021, compared with Rs7.1 billion during the same quarter of the last year.

During the quarter January-March 2021, the total value of payment transactions stood at Rs170 trillion through all the payment channels, which is 17 per cent higher, compared with the transactions of Rs145 trillion in the corresponding quarter of the last year.

About the infrastructure, the central bank said the commercial banks in Pakistan are expanding their digital infrastructure for supporting electronic payments, which is complemented by the SBP’s enabling policies.
As of quarter-end, the industry has deployed 16,175 automated teller machines (ATMs) in the country, exhibiting an increase of 134 ATMs. This means on an average, the banking industry has deployed approximately 1.5 ATMs/day in the country.

The banking industry has been proactive in deploying card accepting point of sale (POS) terminals to support the central bank’s initiative on improving card acceptance infrastructure in Pakistan.

During the quarter, the industry deployed more than 4,000 POS machines, reaching an all-time high of 67,099. There are 16,223 bank branches reported by the banks/MFBs (microfinance banks), of which 107 are overseas branches. All branches, except 35, are providing online banking services to their customers.

“We have observed a decline in the number of branches, showing the industry is slowly realising the benefits of [the] digital payment infrastructure that the digital channels bring to the overall consumer experience and its impact on the bottom line,” the SBP said.

The number of internet and mobile banking users has also shown considerable increase during the last few quarters. The internet banking users increased 10 per cent, compared with the previous quarter, whereas it exhibits an increase of 30 per cent, compared with the same quarter of the last year.

Similarly, mobile banking users have increased 5 per cent quarter-on-quarter, while showing an increase of 20 per cent, compared with the same period of the last year.

The number of e-commerce merchants is also on the rise during the last few quarters, compared with the previous quarter, as these increased 5 per cent, compared with the same period of the last year, a staggering growth of 62 per cent has been observed, the report added.

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