As Pakistan moves toward digital payments, the financial sector has been buzzing with the arrival of new businesses eager to establish themselves in the market.
A total of 1.1 million transactions of Rs159.1 trillion were recorded by the Pakistan Real-time Interbank Settlement Mechanism (PRISM) during the first quarter of this fiscal year, according to the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) first quarterly Payment Systems Review (PSR) report (FY22). The value of these transactions is approximately 7 percent greater than the previous quarter (April-June FY21), during which Rs 148 trillion worth of transactions were reported, according to the latest available data.
It should come as no surprise that the number of players who have applied for Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) has increased in the midst of this development.
According to the SBP definition, electronic money institutions (EMIs) are “entities that provide innovative, user-friendly, and cost-effective, low-value digital payment instruments such as wallets, prepaid cards, and contactless payment instruments.”
With the push for restrictions on EMIs, which were issued by the SBP in 2019, there has been a parallel rise in the use of digital payment methods.
The In-Principle Approval (IPA), the approval for the commencement of pilot operations, and the Final Approval are the three processes by which prospective EMI applicants are granted a licence under these laws.
SBP has approved at least 10 EMIs since then, with Careem Pay being the most recent to be approved in principle by the regulator.
Business Recorder consults the list of participants, which is included with the SBP, to determine who the other players are.