Digital Payments – A Ray of Hope for Pakistan’s Economy during COVID-19 Pandemic

Social Distancing has become the new normal in today’s grim situation. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all the markets and industries along with daily life globally. However, when everything is impacted, the flow of money is not impacted by the coronavirus outbreak or lockdowns- thanks to the digital world. As a result, the adoption of the digital payments solution is increasing at a rapid pace.

The COVID-19 crisis doesn’t seem to end in the short term, and it can have staunch effects on startups and SMEs. Though we have already embraced the recessionary economy while staying at home, however, we now have to face bigger challenges in the industry. During these circumstances, it’s interesting to see how this condition will boost digital payments over the period and how it has facilitated small businesses to survive. There are many factors that have led to the increasing adoption rate of digital payment solutions. For instance, the government has started discouraging the use of cash during the recent outbreak of coronavirus, with cash being the potential carrier of the virus. It has forced many people to switch on digital payment options.

Digital Payments – A Ray of Hope for Pakistan’s Economy during COVID-19 Pandemic

Secondly, a sudden growth in e-commerce is also witnessed as people who are locked in their houses prefer online shopping. Even in Pakistan, where smart lockdown is imposed these days, people tend to avoid visiting stores. From groceries to clothing and other things as well, people prefer online shopping. Keeping in view the trend, many retailers have also embraced e-commerce due to which the volume of online transactions has also surged since people are relying on digital payment platform for online shopping.

On a broader outlook, since most of the businesses are working from home, and students have shifted to freelancing to make the free time more productive, payments are made via digital payments with Easypaisa being widely used due to its user-friendliness. Having more than 70k retailers, Easypaisa has one of the largest footprints of branchless agents in Pakistan, which is one of the reasons why the service is adopted at a fast pace. Recent innovations brought about by collaboration between tech-driven companies can prove to be a game changer, one example of which is in which a logistics company facilitates cash deposit into mobile accounts by picking up cash from the user’s doorstep.

The adoption rate of digital payments remained slow until 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic has paved the way for digital payments. Digital Payment platforms are a ray of hope amid covid-19 as it has helped people carry on with their day to day tasks while sitting at home. We can hope that the coronavirus crisis will be eliminated soon, but the ever-growing number of smartphone users is sure to drive the growth of mobile wallet platforms in the future.

Also Read: The need to push for a digital payments ecosystem

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