Monday, June 17, 2024

Mobile banking grows rapidly due to COVID-19

A report this week on the Payments Systems Analysis for July-September was published by the State Bank of Pakistan. The study, which analyses the breakdown of payment networks used to conduct transactions, revealed that during the COVID-19 lockout, mobile banking expanded at an unprecedented pace, almost tripling in volume.

Most of the transactions in Pakistan which is the Pakistan Real-time Interbank Settlement Process, were carried out as planned, a fancy name for the system of transfers of funds between banks in Pakistan. This was accompanied by transactions based on paper and withdrawals of ATM cash.

E-banking was also on the rise, according to the survey, with a 22 percent year-on-year increase compared to July-September 2019. In the same era, however, mobile banking jumped from 1.87 percent to 4.75 percent as more and more individuals switched to apps like EasyPaisa and JazzCash to manage their payments. Similarly, from 3.68% last year to 5.68% this year, internet banking also grew.

As compared to last year, the mobile banking market saw a rise of 2.61 million users, with many of them registering between April and June 2020. The main reason behind this seems to be the situation of coronavirus prevalent in the country at that time, and the subsequent government-imposed lockdown.

The State Bank has also played its part in getting the public to make their transactions go digital. Reducing regulations by removing e-forms for small e-commerce exports and demonstrating greater transparency by data publication are also positive measures towards digitizing the banking industry.

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