Benefits of digital financial services highlighted

Published February 11, 2016
ISLAMABAD: State Bank of Pakistan Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra and Netherlands Queen Maxima chair a roundtable dialogue on ‘future of digital financial services’ on Wednesday.
ISLAMABAD: State Bank of Pakistan Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra and Netherlands Queen Maxima chair a roundtable dialogue on ‘future of digital financial services’ on Wednesday.

ISLAMABAD: Digital financial services have the potential to overcome hurdles posed by conventional business models, said State Bank Governor Ashraf Wathra.

Speaking at a roundtable dialogue, organised by the SBP, on ‘future of digital financial services’ here on Wednesday, Ashraf Wathra pointed out that branchless banking is both convenient and affordable for underserved demographics in a highly cost-efficient manner.

Digital financial services channel, he said, is largely used by low income persons.

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, who presided over the dialogue, said Pakistan has one of the best regulatory frameworks which provide strong foundations for taking financial inclusion to its next level.

She emphasised that the industry should collaborate to remove at least some of the key bottlenecks over the next three to four quarters to realise the potential of digital financial services.

Discouraging use of excess cash, availability of smart cell phone for women and rationalising cost of branchless banking services were some of the suggestions made by the Queen.

SBP Deputy Governor Saeed Ahmad urged the industry players to collaborate for integrated solutions to remove bottlenecks.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2016

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