|Mobile Phone & Smart Card banking accounts surge
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:40:00
Mobile Phone & Smart Card banking accounts surge
KARACHI, Oct 16 (APP): The Deputy Governor, State Bank of
Pakistan (SBP), Kazi Abdul Muktadir, has disclosed that Mobile Phone
and Smart Card banking accounts have surged to nearly 1.45 million in
the country, which indicates that Pakistan's financial sector is now
going through a dynamic transition led by the latest technology
Speaking at the launching ceremony of a new product, `Easy Paisa
Khushaal' of Tameer Microfinance Bank (TMFB) and Telenor at a local
hotel on Tuesday, he said: `The existing active players- the Tameer
Microfinance Bank (Easypaisa) and UBL (Omni), have so far registered
more than 1,447,381 mobile wallet accounts (mWallet accounts) of
un-banked and under-banked population of the country.
(mWallet accounts are opened under Branchless Banking (BB) and
include both Mobile Phone and Smart Card accounts.
He said that nearly 30 million BB accounts worth Rs. 115 billion
were processed during a single quarter (April-June, 2012) by only two
players (TMFB and UBL Omni).
Abdul Muktadir said that such type of innovations in product
designing will not only attract small savings to generate internal
funding for Microfinance Banks (MFBs) but also provide savers a
feeling of safety and security of insurance embodied with the product.
`Now the time is only of demand-driven innovative products,
through which MFBs can easily handle the challenges like scarcity of
funding and financial exclusion', he added.
`With the entry of new players and scaling-up of the existing
institutions, the present growth momentum of BB accounts will rise
further. Our Tele density also highlights the inherent potential for
mobile banking in Pakistan', he said and added that achievements in
the BB services have put Pakistan at the global centre stage of
Financial Inclusion and innovation.
He said that the World Bank's Consultative Group to Assist the
Poor (CGAP), in its recent study has also recognized Pakistan as one
of the fastest growing branchless banking market in the World.
He said that the Government and the SBP have been supporting the
microfinance sector to reach out to the millions of un-served
low-income people of the country.
This growth is facilitated by several factors, including an
enabling policy framework, institutional reforms, technology
initiatives, regulatory flexibility, tax incentives and technical
support through different programs and projects, SBP Deputy Governor
State Bank of Pakistan has also issued a Strategic Framework for
Sustainable Microfinance in Pakistan which mainly focuses promoting
use of alternative delivery channels to enhance financial services to
people without access to finance which is recognized as one of the
fundamental constraints in achieving sustainable economic growth in
many developing countries, he added.
Abdul Muktadir said that SBP has always been very encouraging in
promoting innovations in products and delivery channels in order to
promote financial inclusion and added that it (SBP) has also launched
a `Financial Innovation Challenge Fund' under its DFID-funded
Financial Inclusion Program (FIP) to support innovation in products,
and delivery channels in microfinance which will give further impetus
to Branchless Banking.
He congratulated the Tameer Microfinance Bank and its key partner
Telenor for designing another innovative product and said that it will
go a long way in promoting deposit mobilization and motivating other
microfinance sector players to move in this direction.
`The State Bank looks forward to the success and positive
outcomes of Easypaisa Khushaal and expects more innovative products
from TMFB for promoting deposit mobilization and financial inclusion
agenda', SBP Deputy Governor added.