In Pakistan during COVID-19, quarterly online transactions amount crossed Rs. 1 trillion. This is due to zero bank fees and relief in charges on most used services.
Mobile banking transactions crossed 44 million in the second quarter of FY 2020-21 making the yearly transactions of Rs. 1.12 trillion. In the same quarter last year, the transactions worth PKR 17.8 million were made that took the yearly online transaction figures to Rs. 382.5 billion, according to the State Bank of Pakistan.
Online Transactions Hit the Mark 1 Trillion PKR during COVID-19
The number of mobile banking users registration reached 9.4 million, reflecting a 5 percent growth during the pandemic. During this time 22 million-internet banking transactions worth Rs. 1.3 trillion have been recorded compared with Rs. 1.1 trillion last quarter.
In order to prevent COVID-19, Banking Authorities reduces the visit of consumers to branches, the Banking Regulatory authority exempted various charges for mobile and Internet banking last year. This action resulted in the rise of internet banking usage.
The exemption of charges appeared temporary but to promote the use of digital payments, SBP eventually abolished all charges on mobile banking and internet banking permanently including bill payments, IBFT, taxes, etc.
SBP continues to promote digitization in Pakistan, in accordance with its state goals of digitization of payment and financial services and expects the industry to embrace these efforts, which will enhance comfort and financial inclusion for all Pakistanis.
Moreover, 44 million payment cards issued all over the country, 27.6 million are debit cards and 1.7 million are credit cards. The social welfare cards provided by the BISP, EOBI, and other government departments were 7.6 million.
The number of POS machines in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2020-21 saw a significant growth of 18 percent, reaching 62,480 installations across the country in reply to the SBP steps to stimulate the development of point of sale machines to encourage digital payments via debit and credit cards.
During the second quarter of the fiscal year 2020-21, 23 million transactions of Rs. 115 billion were carried out on these Smartphones, which shows the positive effect of SBP-adapted market-driven policies designed to increase payment acceptance infrastructure in Pakistan.