Lahore: The State Bank of Pakistan today presented its first quarterly report on payment systems for the fiscal year 2021-22. The report demonstrates that Pakistan’s payment environment, particularly digital platforms, grew rapidly.
E-banking transactions (including Real-time Online Branches, ATMs, mobile banking, internet banking, call center banking, POS and e-Commerce) rose 12 percent in volume and 16 percent in value in Q1-FY22 over Q1-FY21. Mobile and internet banking have seen high uptake of digital payments. The number of mobile banking customers increased by 4% quarter-on-quarter, to 11.3 million. 79.1 million transactions worth PKR 2.2 trillion were made via mobile banking, representing a 29% volume and 36% value growth QoQ. Internet banking users grew 31% QoQ, conducting 30 million transactions worth PKR 1.9 trillion, contributing to the rise in e-Banking usage. On a quarterly basis, this represents a 6% increase in volume and a 10% increase in value.
Retailers continued to accept digital payments. Overall e-Commerce transactions grew 87 percent in volume and 21% in value, despite a near-identical number of e-commerce merchants. 12 million eCommerce transactions worth 22.3 billion PKR were made through digital payment methods during the quarter. Similarly, the number of merchant Point of Sale (POS) machines climbed by 10% QoQ to 79,134. These machines completed 28.1 million card-based transactions worth about PKR 134.9 billion, a 16.1% volume and 10.6% value increase QoQ.
At the end of September 2021, there were 46.2 million cards in circulation, mostly debit cards (64%) and prepaid cards (4%) (0.3 percent ). During this quarter, paper-based transactions increased by 5% in volume and 3% in value, possibly due to individuals returning to traditional channels (branches) when the pandemic limitations were lifted.
Large-value (wholesale) payments processed through SBP’s Real-time Inter-Bank Settlement Mechanism (PRISM) totaled 1.1 million transactions worth PKR 159.1 trillion, up 7% from the previous quarter.