E-banking transactions jump by 24pc to Rs21.4tr

Published March 19, 2021
The number of registered mobile phone banking users reached 9.4m, accounting for an increase of 5pc. — AFP/File
The number of registered mobile phone banking users reached 9.4m, accounting for an increase of 5pc. — AFP/File

KARACHI: During the second quarter of the current fiscal year (2QFY21), 296.7 million e-banking transactions valuing Rs21.4 trillion were carried out, registering a growth of 24 per cent by volume and 22pc by value over the same period last year, said a report issued by the State Bank on Thursday.

The SBP’s Quarterly Payment System Review said strong growth was seen in the country’s digital financial transactions during Oct-Dec FY21. The central bank has been making efforts to achieve the target of maximising digitisation of financial transactions.

Most of the uptick in e-banking transactions was seen in internet and mobile banking, the report said. It added that the volume of mobile banking transactions reached 44 million, up 147pc with a 192pc increase in value to Rs1.12 trillion. In 2QFY20, 17.8m transactions valuing Rs382.5bn took place.

The number of registered mobile phone banking users reached 9.4m, accounting for an increase of 5pc. Similarly, 22m internet banking transactions valued at Rs1.3tr were recorded during this period compared to Rs1.1tr in the first quarter of FY21 (1QFY21).

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 terminals reached 62,480, showing a remarkable growth of 18pc during 2QFY21.

“On these POS machines, 23m transactions amounting to Rs115bn were processed during Q2FY21, showing the positive impact of the market conducive policies adapted by SBP, particularly targeted towards increasing the payment acceptance infrastructure in Pakistan,” the SBP review added.

Card-based transactions on e-commerce portals also increased substantially, with e-commerce merchants processing 5.6m transactions through payment cards amounting to Rs15bn compared to 3.9m valuing Rs11.9bn in 1QFY21. This marks a shift in the behavior of the Pakistani population and also complements government of Pakistan’s efforts to develop a more market friendly landscape toward acceptance of payments by e-commerce merchants, the SBP review noted.

The total number of payment cards issued in the country stood at 44m out of which 27.6m were debit cards and 1.7m are credit cards. 7.6m social welfare cards have been issued by banks. 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, the review added.

Expansion in digital payment infrastructure as well as the emergence of new payment aggregators has played a great role in this growth.

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

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2021

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