ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has made giant strides in development of digital financial inclusion and knowledge economy as total volume of branchless banking reached over Rs. 486 billion during October to December last year.
The number of branchless banking transactions also surpassed Rs. 101.6 billion during the same period.
A latest report of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) mentioning statistics of State Bank of Pakistan on Tuesday said the numbers are testimony of the fact that mobile money has potential to expand reach of banking services to 85 % unbanked population.
The report said amalgamation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and banking services can help in moving towards a fully documented economy which is necessary to improve tax collection circle and achievement of 18 % tax to GDP ratio by 2025 as stated under goals of Pakistan Vision 2025.
The economic impact of ICTs can also be observed with tremendous rise of e-commerce through websites such as daraz.pk, olx.com, zameen.com, pakwheels.com etc which is still at the embryo uric stage.
It said potential for e-commerce growth is astronomical and according to GSMA’s recent report, Pakistan’s e-commerce industry is expected to grow to several hundred million dollars by 2020 from current figure of US$ 30 million.
The ‘Black Friday’ sale by daraz.pk on in November last year became an instant hit as more than 1.5 million people visited the website to avail discounts of up to Rs 132 million.
The business owners attribute the rapid expansion in e-commerce trends to introduction of mobile broadband services in Pakistan as the explosive growth in e-commerce can safely be said to be on of the biggest benefits of Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS).
It merits mentioned here that relationship between ICT growth, especially broadband and socio-economic development in a country has been extensively studied by leading researchers and institutes in the world. It has been empirically established that growth in broadband or internet penetration has significant positive impact on country’s economic outlook.
Financial Institutions (FIs) are front runners being early technology adopters of modern ICT opportunities for transition from traditional book keeping to computer-based solutions.
Online banking, ATMs, virtual banking and mobile payment systems are some of the key banking services making full use of ICTs. Banks are reduced to a palm sized phone as Telcos are providing banking services on mobile handsets through their mobile banking solutions.