HBL prepares to step into branchless banking

Published: November 17, 2011

HBL’s debut in branchless banking business will create competition in the market. PHOTO: PROPAKISTANI

KARACHI: Habib Bank Limited (HBL) is ready to step into the branchless banking market with its partnership with Ufone, Sybase 365 and AbacusConsulting by 2012.

HBL’s debut in the branchless banking business will create competition among other established names in the market like Easy Paisa (a joint venture of Telenor Pakistan and Tameer Bank), UBL Omni (a branchless banking venture of United Bank Limited) and Mobilink’s branchless banking which is a team-up with Nadra’s e-sahulat.

Sybase 360, which is the global leader in mobile messaging and mobile commerce services will provide technology support and Abacus Consulting a leading management and technology consultancy firm will deploy the project.

According to sources, HBL has invested millions of dollars for the marketing of the project as it aims to launch the project on a large scale.

HBL claims that their branchless banking solution will introduce more Unique Selling Points (USPs) by enabling customers to pay taxi fares, gas station charges or other similar retail transactions with their mobile phones. HBL’s branchless banking will also offer international remittances from mobile phones as well.

Azfar Jamal, head of branchless banking at HBL, in a conversation with ProPakistani said that Sybase 365 will provide technological infrastructure and software solution for the project, while Ufone will give USSD access and Abacus Consulting will be responsible for the deployment of the project.

However, HBL’s partnership with Ufone won’t be exclusive as they may get other operators on board to expand their market reach.

HBL currently operates through a nationwide network of 1500 branches and it plans to get about four-five million of their existing customers for branchless banking solutions.

A version of this post originally appeared on ProPakistani.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Fahad Raza
    Nov 18, 2011 - 12:07AM

    Okeh… that will beat the crap out of Omni. WIN

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  • Nov 18, 2011 - 1:12AM

    A great move that will not only lower the rush in branches but also increase the deposit. As 84% of population is still unbanked in this technological edge, it will give access to poor people. UBL Omni and EasyPaisa is doing great job, this will make market more completable.

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  • Huma
    Nov 18, 2011 - 6:04AM

    The word is “online” banking and not “branchless” banking.

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  • HBL well wisher
    Nov 18, 2011 - 7:55AM

    When a bank cannot even maintain the ATMs outside its branches, what kind of service it will provide is easy to guess. If anyone in HBL reads this, just check the down time and frequency of your ATM in F-10 Markaz Islamabad branch in the past 6 months.

    Disclaimer: I am an account holder for about 2 decades as well as a shareholder in HBL.

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  • Abdul Rauf khan
    Nov 18, 2011 - 8:55AM

    Let see how they provide the facilities to the valued customers.

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  • Imran Farooq
    Nov 18, 2011 - 8:56AM

    This bank seems to have been run by Me Beans….when it comes to attitudes of its employees towards themselves and their clients….ultimately the customers suffer.

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  • Fahad Raza
    Nov 18, 2011 - 4:55PM

    @HBL well wisher:
    Dude some times its done on purpose from the branches itself. I suggest you pick a a branch which is a HUB or a reputation of keeping esteem clients. Lastly call helpline

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  • Fahad Raza
    Nov 18, 2011 - 4:57PM

    @Imran Farooq:
    again depends where you open your account. Branch matter a lot in these cases

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  • HJ
    Nov 19, 2011 - 6:50PM

    @Huma: Please get your definitions correct

    http://www.investorwords.com/3420/onlinebanking.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branchless
    banking

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