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Internet banking on rise in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (APP):The adaptation of Internet and mobile banking has witnessed a remarkable growth as the number of users and their use of the banking services through advanced and convenient channels are on the rise.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued the ‘Regulations for Technical Implementation of Mobile Banking, 2016’ to formulate the mechanism of introducing an interoperable mobile banking model.

Under these regulations, PTA has invited applications for the issuance of Third Party Service Providers (TPSP) licenses that will bring true interoperability between the CMOs and financial institutions.

TPSP licenses also specify the quality of service benchmarks and security standards required for protecting consumer sensitive data and transaction data.

Authorized banks and CMOs are also required to put in place an effective complaint handling mechanism. It is expected that the TPSP licenses will contribute towards Government’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) for inclusion of the financially unserved population into the documented economy.

According to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), a total of 2.3 million Internet Banking users were registered by the end of June 2017 with 25 banks offering a variety of financial services through Internet Banking (IB) like Intrabank and Interbank Fund transfer, scheduled fund transfers, Utility Bills Payments, Mobile Air-time top up, Intra-bank credit card payments, School fee payments etc.

In the last outgoing financial year 2016-17, Internet Banking processed 25.2 million transactions worth Rs968.7 billion during FY17 showing Year-to-Year growth of 32.5 % and 10% in volume and value of transactions, respectively.
Utility Bills Payments contributed 9.0 million (35.9%) in volume and Rs18.6 billion (1.9%) in value of transactions while the remaining shares consist of other miscellaneous payments including school/university fee submissions, mutual fund payments, credit card payments, etc.

The share of Intra Bank Fund transfer transactions is 6.6 million (26.1%) and Rs258.2 billion (26.7%) in volume and value of transactions, respectively, whereas the share of Inter Bank Funds transfers transactions in volume and value of transactions is 7.5 million (29.7%) and Rs310.1 billion (32%) respectively.Internet Banking also facilitated 88.2 million non-financial transactions which include pay order, cheques books, bank account statements and Debit Cards etc.
Mobile Phone or App based Banking is being offered by 18 Banks including Microfinance Banks to 2.5 million registered users, as of June 2017. Mobile Phone Banking processed 7.4 million transactions worth Rs141.4 Billion during FY17 showing YoY growth of 12.1 % and 25.7% in volume and value of transactions respectively.
Intra bank and Interbank fund transfer were the main contributors in total Mobile Phone Banking transactions. Intra bank fund transfers contributed 2.1 million (28.3%) transactions by volume and Rs60.0 billion (42.4%) by value.Utility Bills Payments got a share of 3.1 million (41.3%) by volume and Rs6.0 billion (4.3%) by value within overall Mobile Banking volume and value transactions, respectively.
Despite the double digit growth in the values and volumes of transactions by the users through different banks, the share of the Internet banking in overall transactions stands at a mere 4 percent whilst the share of mobile banking is less than one percent.