Pakistan is missing the magic of digital transformation due to less or no digital education when it comes to adopting the latest technologies. When the government and other private institutions are trying to promote fintech, many people are not ready to adopt these technological advancements in the country. However, the ongoing COVID-19 circumstances have forced people to shift to digital payments to carry on the essential chores, including access to goods and services while people are quarantined or social distancing. Usage of Digital Payments during Covid-19 has increased throughout the world and Pakistan is also remained one of the ripe markets for it.
Following this, we have seen a significant increase in digital activity during the lockdown. While many have adopted new technologies, we should not overlook people who are still struggling. A fully digital Pakistan means robust innovation, greater access for all, and reliability. Pakistan houses many reliable mobile wallets in the country, but still, the need for digital adoption is lagging behind if we compare it with other developed countries.
Visualizing the Rise of Digital Payments during COVID-19
Recently, the state bank of Pakistan has released stats revealing the growing number of online banking users. The users who opted for digital banking grew by 36% to 13.22 million. However many users are still reluctant to accept digital payments, and one of the reasons behind the slow adoption of digital payment platforms is Reliability.
No doubt, reliability is essential, but during these pressing times, fintech companies with the help of government need to close the gap of financial inclusion among individuals by making their services more user friendly than before. Government need to incentivise online banking whereas fintech companies should spread awareness among common man while making their platforms easier to be used. Most of the population in Pakistan is underprivileged and cannot afford a smartphone, so made in Pakistan initiative should be spurred which will have a direct impact on digital payment.
If we as a nation can close this gap, Pakistan will not only be benefitted during COVID-19 but will also reap the benefits of fostering economic growth in the future.