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50m mobile accounts likely by 2020

50m mobile accounts likely by 2020

KARACHI: The customer base of branchless banking would become larger than the conventional banks in the next five years as 50 million mobile accounts are expected to be operational by 2020, said Nadeem Hussain, President, Tameer Bank.

Speaking at the ‘Pakistan Payment Summit-2015’, organised by the Total Communications, in collaboration with the State Bank of Pakistan and 1-Link, Nadeem Hussain further stated that a fund of Rs100 million has been created for two pilot projects for projection of digitalised banking industry.

“Smartphone will make it happen, as their prices have decreased to Rs5000 to Rs6000 in Pakistan,” he said.

The technology-driven mobile banking would help bring transactions worth Rs3.2 trillion into the banking system from outside the system right now. This will also help document the undocumented economy, Hussain said.

He said that mobile banks are also working on the project of attracting remittances into the country from Pakistanis living abroad.

“At present, a person living abroad faces five levels of intervention to send money home via conventional banking system. The mobile banks would do it in just one-step and help attract larger remittances,” he said.

Foreign speakers from different parts of the world also addressed the gathering.

Tashfeen Khalid Niaz, Chairman, Sindh Revenue Board, said they have fully digitalised and automated the tax-paying system to facilitate taxpayers. “Taxpayers can pay taxes via ATM, mobile phone, and computer system now,” he said.

He said the government amended the Constitution in 2010 to empower provinces to collect sales tax. With this, “Sindh has become the largest sales tax collecting province with only 24 per cent of the total population of Pakistan living here,” he said.

KC Wong at Insite MY System, Malaysia, urged bankers to modernise cheques to facilitate their customers.

“Banks should add a line on bottom of cheques to offer option to customer whether they want to make the transaction through digital system...It normally takes three to five days to clear a cheque through conventional system,” he said. He urged the central bank to amend relevant laws to speed up cheque clearing system.

Sanjiv Purushotham, Senior Business Leader, Business Expansion, Non-Traditional Business in the Middle East and Africa, Mastercard, said they have upgraded their technology with the passage of time.

The company has started its journey with introduction of plastic money and has moved on to digital transaction where a card is not require.

Shahzad Shahid, CEO, TPS, said the share of debit cards into all plastic cards stands at 93 per cent in Pakistan.

He said there are 37.8 million bank accounts in the country, 25 million debit cards, which have increased from 9.5 million in 2011.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2015

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