During the second quarter of fiscal year 2020-21, from October to December 2020, digital financial transactions in Pakistan continued to expand at a rapid pace.
According to the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) Quarterly Payment System Review (QPSR) published on Thursday, 296.7 million e-Banking transactions worth Rs21.4 trillion were carried out in Q2FY21, a 24 percent rise in volume and 22 percent increase in value over the same quarter last year.
“In Pakistan, digital payment transactions have increased significantly in recent years, demonstrating the positive effect of the SBP’s policies in changing consumer preferences. This growth has been supported by the expansion of digital payment networks and the advent of new payment aggregators, according to SBP.
According to the central bank, internet and mobile banking saw the most growth in e-banking transactions. Mobile banking transactions rose by 147% to 44 million, worth Rs.1.12 trillion (up 192%), compared to 17.8 million transactions worth 382.5 billion in the same quarter last year. The number of registered mobile phone banking users rose by 5% to 9.4 million.
Similarly, this quarter saw 22 million internet banking transactions worth PKR 1.3 trillion, up from Rs. 1.1 trillion the previous quarter.
In response to SBP’s initiatives to encourage the installation of Point of Sale machines to facilitate digital payments via debit or credit cards, the number of POS machines installed increased by 18% in Q2FY21, reaching 62,480 across the country. During Q2FY21, 23 million transactions totaling Rs115 billion were processed on these POS computers.
Card-based transactions on e-commerce portals have increased significantly, with e-commerce merchants processing 5.6 million transactions worth Rs15 billion in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, up from 3.9 million worth Rs11.9 billion in the first quarter of the previous fiscal year, indicating a shift in the Pakistani population’s attitude toward accepting payments from e-commerce merchants.
There were 44 million payment cards issued in the country, with 27.6 million being debit cards and 1.7 million being credit cards. Furthermore, banks released 7.6 million social security cards on behalf of BISP, EOBI, and other government agencies.