In any country, a well functioning payment system infrastructure is necessary in safeguarding financial stability, monetary system and also promoting economic activities. In our country, national payment systems have undergone important progresses and transformation that created an optimistic output towards less-cash society and future economic growth and development.
The State Bank of Pakistan mentioned in the present statement that the Pakistan Real Time Interbank Settlement Mechanism (PRISM) is playing a main role in the financial infrastructure of Pakistan. It has 41 direct participants comprising of 29 commercial banks, 2 specialized banks, 2 MFBs, 7 DFIs and one non-bank i.e. CDC. During the quarter under review by SBP, 0.4 million transactions amounting to Rs88.1 trillion were processed through PRISM. As against to the previous quarter, the value of these transactions increased by 3.2 percent and the volume of these transactions explained a quarterly fall of 2.9 percent as against to the previous quarter. It is also mentioned that the share of 3rd Party Customers’ transfer transactions has the highest share of 267.8 thousands (76.3%) in volume of transactions with value share Rs5.3 trillion (6.1%), the share of Government Securities trade transactions is 15.6 thousands (4.5%) in volume of transactions with value share Rs62.9 trillion (71.4%), Inter Bank Fund transfer transactions has the share of 53.0 thousands (15.1%) in volume of transactions with value share Rs16.4 trillion (18.6%) and the residuals share is contributed by NIFT’ clearing settlement position.
|Details||Quarter 1 – FY18p1 (Quarter under review)|
|Volume in Million||Value in Rs Trillion|
On the other hand, as on 30th September, 2017 there were 44 banks with a total of 14,422 branches in Pakistan. SBP also stated that the number of these banks’ branches depicted a quarterly growth of 0.9 percent as against to the previous quarter. Except 21 branches, all the branches in Pakistan are offering real time online banking service. Digital (e-Banking) Channels i.e. RTOBs (Real Time Online Banking), Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), POS (Point of Sale), Mobile Phone Banking, Internet Banking, Call Centers/IVR Banking and e-Commerce Channels processed 171.8 million transactions value Rs9.1 trillion during the quarter under review. Furthermore, RTOB processed 37.2 million transactions of value Rs7.5 trillion, of which online cash deposits transactions has the highest share of 46.8 percent with value share of 23.2 percent, the share of real-time online intra-banks fund transfers is 31.8 percent in volume and 67.8 percent in value of transactions and online cash withdrawals contributed 21.4 percent and 8.9 percent share in volume and value of transaction respectively.
Experts also mentioned that as on end September 2017, the total number of ATMs installed by 31 banks in Pakistan stood to 12,963 from 12,689 which explained a quarterly growth of 2.2 percent. Out of these ATMs, 10,602 (81.8%) are On-site ATMs; 2,357 (18.2%) are Off-Site ATMs and 4 are Mobile ATMs in the entire country. These ATMs processed 107.8 million transactions value Rs1.2 trillion of which cash withdrawals has the biggest share in the total ATMs’ transactions. Moreover, it contributed 102.6 million (95.1%) in volume of transactions with a value share of Rs1.1 trillion (87.0%). The average size of a single ATM transaction is Rs11,405.
There are 9 banks in the country who acquire POS machines. Out of these banks, 3 banks are offering branch level cash withdrawals facility. During the quarter under review, 15.2 million transactions amounting Rs66.0 billion were processed at POS terminals.
There are 24 banks in the country offering financial services by Internet Banking to 2.8 million registered Internet Banking users in Pakistan as on end September 2017. Internet Banking processed 6.5 million transactions worth Rs260.5 billion during the quarter under review. Mobile Phone/App based Banking is being offered by 18 Banks/MFBs to a total of 2.7 million registered Mobile Phone Banking users in Pakistan. Mobile Phone Banking processed 4.1 million transactions amounting to Rs73.9 billion during the quarter under review. During the period under review, 79.5 thousand transactions value Rs2.3 million were processed by Call Centers/IVR Banking. The number of local e-commerce merchants registered with banks stood to 812 from 571 in the last quarter — showed a quarterly growth of 42.2 percent. Consumers carried out 0.8 million online e-commerce transactions value Rs4.8 billion through these registered E-Commerce Merchants during the quarter under review. These transactions depicted an important quarterly growth of 100.6 percent in volume and 50.5 percent in value of transactions respectively.
During the quarter under review, SBP calculated that 1.3 million e-commerce transactions amounting to Rs7.9 billion were carried out across the globe using domestically issued Debt, Credit and Prepaid Cards. As on 30 September 2017, the number of total payment cards issued in the country stood to 37.8 million from 36.6 million in the previous quarter was showed a quarterly growth of 3.2 percent. Out of these cards, the numbers of reported Debit Cards in circulation were 18.8 million processed a total of 100.1 million (80.3%) transactions of value Rs1,106.4 billion (84.9%) transactions. The number of reported Credit Cards in circulation is 1.3 million processed 7.9 million (6.3 %) transactions of value Rs45.9 billion (3.5%) transactions. SBP revealed that during the quarter under review, 118.8 million transactions of value Rs37.4 trillion were carried out using Paper-Based instruments i.e. over the counter cash deposits, Cheques, Pay orders, Demand Drafts etc. These transactions showed a quarterly decline of 0.3 percent in volume of transactions and 7.6 percent in value of transactions.