The value of e-banking transactions increased by 16% in the first quarter of FY2021-22, according to the Pakistani central bank.
These transactions were made using electronic channels such as real-time online branches, ATMs, mobile banking, Internet banking, contact centre banking, and e-commerce.
Mobile and Internet banking were two significant areas of high adoption in digital payments, according to the State Bank of Pakistan’s first quarterly report on payment systems, covering July to September 2021.
“The number of mobile banking customers increased by 4% quarter-on-quarter, to 11.3 million. This represents a 36% increase in volume and a 29% increase in value over the previous quarter, according to the SBP data.
“Internet banking users grew 31% QoQ, conducting 30 million transactions worth PKR 1.9 trillion, contributing to the increase in e-Banking usage. This equates to a 6% rise in volume and a 10% increase in value.
The retail banking industry continued to accept digital payments, while overall e-commerce transactions grew 87 percent in volume and 21% in value, even though the number of e-commerce merchants remained nearly unchanged.
During the quarter, 12.7 million e-commerce transactions worth Rs22.3 billion were made digitally. Similarly, the number of merchant POS machines climbed 10% QoQ to 79,134. These machines completed 28.1 million card-based transactions at merchant locations, worth about Rs134.9 billion, a 16.1% volume and 10.6% value increase QoQ.
The report revealed there were 46.2 million cards in circulation by the end of September 2021, mostly debit cards (64%) and prepaid cards (4%) (0.3 percent).
Paper-based transactions increased 5% in volume and 3% in value, possibly due to individuals returning to banks when pandemic-related restrictions were lifted.
The Pakistan Real-Time Interbank Settlement Mechanism (PRISM) completed 1.1 million transactions worth Rs159.1 trillion, 7% more than the previous quarter.