E-banking transactions grow by 30% to $500 bln in FY21: SBP Governo

ISLAMABAD: Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Reza Baqir said Tuesday that owing to the revolutionary initiatives introduced by the central bank, the e-banking transactions were recorded at around $500 billion during the last fiscal year (2020-21).

Addressing the launching ceremony of Raast Digital Payment Programme, he said that e-banking transactions were considerably more than the country’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which currently stands at $370 billion.

He said the e-banking transactions were showing growth of around 30 percent annually. “If it is $500 billion now, you can imagine at which pace we are digitizing,” he remarked.

Reza Baqir said that Raast digital platform, the person-to-person transaction system, was made by SBP under the Prime Minister’s vision to ensure outreach of the banking system to all citizens of the country.

Rasst is part of a national payment strategy that was launched by SBP in November 2019. The World Bank President had launched it and helped in developing this strategy.

He said, it was a technologically advanced system and was currently executed only in a few countries including Malaysia, Turkey, Australia, the United Kingdom, and partially in the United States.

He said that there were around 190 million mobile subscribers in the country whereas only 80 million people were having bank accounts, meaning that there were over 100 million people, who have mobile phones but do not possess bank accounts.

So there is a huge potential for enhancing financial inclusion, he said and expressed the hope that Raast program would bridge this gap.

The SBP Governor said that Raast was different from other programs as it would facilitate free-cost transactions within seconds. He expressed the hope that people would like the new system and take benefit from it.

He said that the SBP had taken many initiatives for pacing up the process of digitization. The Point of Sales (POS) machines also witnessed a growth of 50 percent and are expected to grow at a more fast pace.

Reza said that the state bank would give 5 licenses for establishing digital banks to cater to the needs of common people and facilitate them to open bank accounts remotely

He said that the SBP with the collaboration of NADRA would facilitate people to do remotely their bio-metric verification, upload documents, and open bank accounts.

He said that this banking system would be established on the lines of the Roshan Digital Account that was introduced for Overseas Pakistanis.

He said, the bank had recently launched low-cost housing, under which the central bank facilitated those who were unable to take bank loans, adding Rs131 billion loans were approved by banks this year, showing 100 percent growth against last year. TF REPORT

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