State Bank of Pakistan Announces 5 Digital Banking Licenses in Pakistan

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced five digital banking licenses that will be awarded to the successful banks. Applications from 20 banks have been received by SBP.

The Managing Director of SBP subsidiary Deposit Protection Corporation (DPC) Syed Irfan Ali said that the institution is very carefully scrutinizing the banks and other financial institutions that have applied for the digital license and soon the licenses will be issued.

In Pakistan the bank are at crux of the second digital revolution. The Managing Director while speaking at the 15th international conference on ‘Mobile Commerce 2022’ organized by Total Communications in Karachi on Wednesday also said that in the first step SBP has planned to issue only five licenses to kick start the transition of digital banking.

Five of the top operating banks of the country are among the 20 applications that SBP has received. The Managing Director Ali said that it is just the beginning of the Digital Banking in Pakistan and there is no end to this evolution; QR Code, thumb impression or hands in air may be the next level to conduct a financial transection.

Mr. Irfan Ali expressed his wishful thinking that the future digital banks will offer banking services to unbanked people and also offer business opportunities in the remote areas of Pakistan like Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, bordering areas, Thatta, Thar, Cholistan, Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu. He while referring to the Former Prime Minister Imran Khan vision added that these areas are part of Pakistan, they are not from other country.

The Managing Director also said that SBP, governor Reza Baqir, himself (Irfan Ali) and their team had started on the digitalization journey. With the  plans like Roshan Digital Account (RDA) we can reach the non-resident Pakistani and make their life easier. On June 21st RDA had a record one-day inflows of $57 million

Ali said that the Pakistanis are the pioneers of Branchless banking in the world. They made the rules and regulation for the branchless banking as earlier there were no such rules or regulation in the world.

The CEO and President of UBL Bank Shazad G. Dada expressed his optimism that Banks, telecom and technological firms have formed a fantastic collaboration under the first digital revolution in Pakistan.

Omar El Gammal, SVP Global Business Development, Paymob, Egypt, said to carter the SME sector through online and digital banking, Paymob of Egypt has entered the Pakistani market. In the coming two year the Egyptian digital payment company will  deploy 100,000 merchants in Pakistan.

The Co-Founder and CEO of Finja, Mr. Qasif Shahid said PWC has placed Pakistan’s economy among the top 32 countries around the world by 2030. While some other speakers were of the mindset that digital banking appears challenging.

Other than the major benefits of digital banking, a reduction in banking costs and getting rid of paper-based banking are also on the agenda.

Also Read: ezBike Pakistan’s First Electric Mobility To Launch Soon

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