Mobile banking is the hottest topic in telecom and banking industry in Pakistan. The growth of mobile banking in a very short period has compelled the industry and government further support the phenomenon of giving people easy options to transact and contribute to the national economy.
Over 72% people in Pakistan are connected through mobile phones, and only 15% are using the services of conventional banks. There is a significant opportunity to bring rest of the 85% into the financial net, and this can only be expedited by using mobile banking.
PTA, today, organized a workshop on Mobile Money in collaboration with GSMA, which was attended by officials from PTA, GSMA and telecom companies, commercial banks and the State Bank of Pakistan. The objectives of this workshop were to bring global and local insights from the branchless banking industry.
While talking about the importance of this new form of banking, Chairman PTA, Dr. Syed Ismail Shah commented that mobile banking is a modern facility which will have a positive impact on the GDP growth of the country and will be beneficial for people of Pakistan as well. The consumers will have the most attractive benefits of keeping a bank account in their pocket with advantages like low cost and fast transfers etc.
“Pakistan has now moved in the era of broadband. By the end of February 2016, there are 29.8 million broadband users that make broadband teledensity 15% and it has high potential for broadband proliferation.”, he added.
Dr. Ismail further said that Pakistan is fast moving towards mobile money which facilitates not only urban class but also rural population. He said that mobile banking is a value addition and has utmost consumer convenience wherein users can avail banking facilities through mobile communication. He stated that advancements in telecom technologies have positively affected other sectors, and innovative products have been introduced.
During the workshop, GSMA facilitator Ms. Lara Gidvani (Regulatory Specialist, Asia) briefed audience in detail on GSMA mobile money program. Sophia Hasnain (Senior Market Engagement Manager, Asia), Mr. Ghazanfar Azzam,CEO, Waseela Bank, Mr. Abrar A. Mir, Chief Innovation and Financial Inclusion Officer, HB, Mr. Kabeer Naqvi, CEO, U Microfinance Bank and Mr. Omar Moeen Malik, Head Strategy & Payments, EasyPaisa, Telenor also shared their thoughts on potential for mobile money industry, branchless banking & digital commerce and policy & regulatory environment for branchless banking.
Different case studies from Pakistan, Tanzania , Kenya, Philippines and India on mobile money, digital commerce initiatives and regulatory principles were discussed in the workshop. Challenges and opportunities to digitize payments in Pakistan were also highlighted. At the end Chairman PTA presented souvenirs to the speakers.