Facilitation: ‘Branchless banking could spur GDP growth’

Published: March 9, 2016
PTA chairman. PHOTO: FILE

PTA chairman. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Branchless banking would have a positive impact on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and lives of people in general, said Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Dr Syed Ismail Shah.

“The consumers would have the benefit of keeping their bank accounts within their pockets along with advantages of low cost and fast transfers,” he said while addressing a workshop on ‘Mobile Money’, held in collaboration with Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA).

The workshop aimed to bring global and local insights from the branchless banking industry.

“We have now moved into the era of broadband. By end February 2016, we had 29.8 million broadband users that brought the broadband tele-density to 15% and it still has a lot of potential for proliferation,” said the PTA chairman.

He said Pakistan was fast-moving towards mobile money which facilitated both the urban and rural population. “Mobile banking is a value addition and consumer convenience wherein users can avail facilities via mobile communication.”

Earlier, PTA Director General, in his opening remarks, said the PTA and SBP were working on mobile banking regulations with an aim to continue mutual coordination for setting up a fair and non-discriminatory regulatory framework for mobile banking service providers.

“PTA would continue to hold and encourage such initiatives in the future for the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs),” he added.

Different case studies from Pakistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Philippines and India on mobile money, digital commerce initiatives and regulatory principles were also discussed in the workshop.

Challenges and opportunities to digitise payments in Pakistan were also highlighted. 

Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2016.

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