Karachi, April 18, 2022: The State Bank of Pakistan released its second quarterly report of payment systems for the fiscal year 2021-22 today covering the period October – December 2021. The report presents an encouraging picture of the adoption of digital banking in the country.
During the quarter under review, customers’ inclination toward the use of e-banking continued as it rose to 10.7 percent in volume and 22.8 percent in value of transactions on a Quarter-on-Quarter (QoQ) basis. E-banking includes transactions conducted via electronic channels including real-time online Branches, ATMs, mobile banking, internet banking, call center banking, POS, and e-Commerce.
It would be pertinent to note that the growth in e-banking transactions is much steeper relative to paper-based transactions, albeit the value of transactions is higher in the case of later. The volume and value of paper-based transactions increased by 3.4 percent and 12.2 percent respectively.
While the volume of e-banking transactions is almost four times higher at 400 million than paper-based transactions at 101.4 million, the value of transactions of the former stands at Rs33.4 trillion compared with Rs41.6 trillion paper-based transactions.
All around growth in e-banking included expansion in both mobile and internet banking with a double-digit increase in value and volume of transactions during the second quarter. The number of mobile banking transactions amounted to 94 million, while the value reached Rs2.2 trillion, which comes to 18.8 percent and 35.4 percent growth respectively on QoQ basis.
Meanwhile, the number of mobile banking users grew by 5 percent on QoQ basis, reaching a total of 11.9 million users. The internet banking users reached 6.9 million, conducting 33.8 million transactions, amounting to Rs2.4 trillion, which translates to a strong 13.9 percent progress in terms of volume and 28 percent increase in the value of these transactions compared to the preceding quarter.
The retail sector also continued its upswing in the adoption of digital payments. During the quarter, a total of 31.4 million transactions amounting to Rs178.1 billion were processed via 92,153 Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals. This shows an impressive double-digit QoQ growth of 11.8 percent by volume and 32.1 percent by value. Similarly, the number of e-Commerce merchants also increased by 32.6 percent reaching a total of 3,968. The onboarding of QR merchants largely added to this growth. These merchants processed 13.6 million transactions worth Rs26.7 billion, showing QoQ growth of 7.2 percent by volume and 19.8 percent by value.
As of end-December 2022, there were 5.4 percent more cards than in the preceding quarter, reaching 48.6 million cards in circulation which mainly comprised Debit Cards (63.5 percent), Social Welfare Cards (22.8 percent), ATM only Cards (9.9 percent), Credit Cards (3.6 percent), and Prepaid Cards (0.3 percent). During this quarter, paper-based transactions showed relatively slower growth of 3.4 percent in volume and 12.2 percent in value on a QoQ basis. In Large-value (wholesale) payments segment, SBP’s Real-time Inter-Bank Settlement Mechanism (PRISM) processed a total of 1.1 million transactions amounting to Rs161.3 trillion, showing QoQ growth of 5.9 percent in volume and 1.4 percent in value.