KARACHI: The number of transactions conducted via mobile banking channels grew 29 per cent by volume and 36pc by value at 79.1 million and Rs2.2 trillion during the July-September quarter of 2021-22.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in its quarterly report released on Monday said that e-banking — defined as transactions conducted via electronic channels (including Real-time Online Branches, ATMs, mobile banking, internet banking, call centre banking, POS and e-commerce) — continued to thrive in both volume and value during the quarter under review as it jumped by 12pc and 16pc, respectively, in Q1FY22 over the same quarter of FY21.

The report shows that Pakistan’s payment ecosystem, especially through digital platforms, continued its brisk pace of growth.

Two major areas where high adoption in digital payments was witnessed are mobile and internet banking.

The number of mobile banking users grew by 4pc on a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) basis, reaching a total of 11.3 million.

Internet banking also contributed to the upswing in the usage of e-banking services by registering 31pc growth in internet banking users who conducted 30 million transactions amounting to Rs1.9 trillion.

This amounts to 6pc progress in terms of volume and 10pc increase in the value of these transactions on a quarter-to-quarter basis. “Retail sector continued to show adoption of digital payments,” said the report.

Overall e-commerce transactions recorded a growth of 87pc by volume and 21pc by value during the quarter.

“During the quarter, 12.7m e-commerce related transactions amounting to Rs22.3 billion were conducted using digital payment channels,” said the report.

Similarly, the number of merchant Point-of-Sale (POS) machines also increased by 10pc reaching 79,134 machines.

“These machines processed 28.1 million card-based transactions at merchant locations amounting to almost Rs134.9bn which showed an increase of 16.1pc by volume and 10.6pc by value.

“As of end-September 2021, there were 46.2m total cards in circulation which mainly comprised of debit cards (64pc), social welfare cards (22pc), ATM only cards (10pc), credit cards (4pc), and prepaid cards (0.3pc),” the report added.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2022

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