MODERN BANKING STILL BEHIND MONEY ORDER SYSTEM
Postal service is still easiest and fastest way to send the money
By AZAM ALI
Nov 01 - 07, 2004
All modern technologies introduced by the private banks in Pakistan but they are still behind the Pakistan Post Office's years old traditional remittance system (the money order system) which transfers cash at the doorsteps in the every corner of the country. It does not make any difference for the Pakistan Post Office even if the recipients are located in villages, slum areas or even the recipients do not have any proper address he or she will get the amount carefully through any prominent or notable person in the village or locality.
"About 70,000 recipients get the money sent to them at their doorsteps every day across the country. Approximately 25 million recipients received Rs. 50 billion across the country during last fiscal year 2003-2004 which ended in June 30 last," Post Master General Sindh, Mohammed Ahmed Mian told PAGE. He said, 2002-2003 figures are also the same.
He said that money order system is still matchless in the country, "there are many other facilities provided by the banks but there are no such facilities like sending money at the doorsteps".
"There are some more facilities, which we are being introducing in near future such as upgrading money transfer system through computer communications which will reduce the commission rates and provide quick service, said Ahmed Mian while elaborating on modernising of the offices.
He said that law and order situation in Karachi and Lahore has affected money order business but that has to do nothing with the nature of existing system. "Law and order are also affecting other financial institutions and not only the Post offices."
Post Master General said that there are three types of money orders; 1) Ordinary money order, this takes 24 to 36 hours. 2) Urgent Money Order (UMO), this takes only 24 hours within whole country. And the third is same day service called Fax Money Order.
A sender at I.I. Chundrigar Road GPO, Said Hashmat Rabbani said: "Money Order is still easiest and fastest way to send the money; I usually come to the General Post Office and handover the money to the booking clerk. Only within three hours my brother gets the money."
He also said that last month my brother needed Rs. 5,000 in Peshawar I asked him to go to the GPO and wait for my fax money order, soon after my FMO reached Peshawar my brother had received the amount in shortest period after establishing his identity.
Shahid Raza Assistant Director at Pakistan Post Master General Office Sindh said that Sindh province does not only send money orders to the other parts of the country but also receiving it too. He said, during last fiscal year Rs. 10 billion were sent in entire Sindh province from other parts of the country. He further said that fax money order is now going even faster despite the fact that bank are introducing various modern services. He said that modern banking couldn't provide services to the large number of masses in the rural areas. He said that only during last fiscal year Post Offices Sindh earned Rs. 6.2 billion against Rs. 5.8 billion during fiscal year of 2002-2003.
He further said that ordinary money orders are still on top of the figure chart as Fax Money Order is confined to Karachi, Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur, Lahore, Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and other cities.
"We are enlarging the FMO network apart from extending the facilities to 24 hours. He said that Post Offices are also being run on the privatize sectors. There are 14 GPOs in entire Sindh province dealing in all three categories of money orders. Six GPOs are in Karachi, two in Hyderabad, six in Sukkur. There are 14 Head Post Offices (HPO) in entire Sindh province, 12 in Karachi, two in Hyderabad, said Shahid Raza.
"Money Order system is a very valuable mode of money transfer for lower/middle class and lower class people."
The Post Master General said that we are planning to increase the money order services in the post offices from single shift to double shift, and from double shift to round the clock. He said that fax money order system has also planned for round the clock from Karachi to Lahore, Islamabad and other big cities and later it would be extended to other cities of the country.
He also accepted many problems in the postal services and said that Post Office does not only deal with money orders but posting of letters, post cards, parcels, printed papers and parcel etc. apart from these services, national saving certificates and renewal of driving and arms licences. "The Pakistan Post Office has also providing counters to the western union, which is bringing large volume of money from countries abroad," said the Post Master General.