KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), in a report, has said that the value of mobile banking, internet banking and e-commerce transactions have more than doubled during the 3rd quarter of the outgoing financial year.

In its quarterly report released here on Monday, the SBP said that encouragingly, the number of the internet and mobile banking users have also been increasing significantly, up 30.5 per cent and 20.3 per cent, respectively, during Q3FY21 over same period last year.

During Q3 2020-21, bank customers performed 309.5 million e-banking transactions, valuing Rs22.5 trillion and registering growth rates of 31 per cent by volume and 29 percent by value over the same quarter last year. Most of the uptakes in e-banking transactions were seen in internet banking and mobile banking transactions. The volume of mobile banking transactions reached Rs51.7 million, (up 144 per cent) valuing Rs1.3 trillion (up 178 per cent) compared to 21.2 million transactions valuing 467.5 billion in the same quarter, last year.

The number of registered mobile phone banking users reached 9.8 million showing an increase of 20pc from the same period last year. Similarly, 24.5 million internet banking transactions valuing Rs1.5 trillion were recorded during this period compared to Rs0.75 trillion in the same quarter last year, registering a growth of 74pc by volume and 109pc by value.

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 in the country, the numbers of POS machines have shown substantial growth of 37 per cent when compared with the same period last year.

On these POS machines, 25 million card-based transactions amounting to Rs124 billion were processed showing an increase of 28 per cent by volume and 21 percent by value compared to the same quarter last year.

The increase in the number of POS machines this year can be attributed to the measures that SBP took early last year which included the reduction in interchange fees on debit card payments thus improving the share of acquirers from overall merchant discount rate (MDR).

Non-cash based e-commerce transactions also increased substantially in the country during Q3FY21; e-commerce merchants processed 5.6 million transactions digitally amounting to Rs15.3 billion compared to 2.8 million transactions valuing Rs7.1 billion in Q3FY20, showing an increase of 100 per cent by volume and 115 per cent by value from the last year.

A total number of payment cards issued in the country stood at 44.5 million out of which 28.6 million are debit cards and 1.7 million are credit cards. Further, 6.4million social welfare cards have been issued by banks on behalf of BISP, EOBI, Ehsaas and other government organisations and schemes.

It is worth mentioning that during the last few years, digital payment transactions in Pakistan have shown significant growth, reflecting the impact of favorable policies of SBP to incentivise customers.

Expansion in digital payment infrastructure, as well as the emergence of new payment aggregators, have also played their role in this growth.

In line with its declared objectives to digitise payment and financial services, SBP will continue promoting digitization in the country and expects the industry to e reciprocate the efforts that will in turn increase convenience for the people of Pakistan.


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