KARACHI: Pakistan State Oil (PSO) is set to jump on the branchless banking bandwagon, a highly unorthodox move for an oil marketing company.
However, the availability of cash and round-the-clock retail outlets – a total of 3,600 – will enable it to resolve the issue of nationwide coverage and accessibility.
PSO’s fuel stations are expected to start offering branchless banking services in the next two months and all outlets on the network would be doing so in the next eight months. It is set to kick-start the business with United Bank Limited’s (UBL) branchless bank, Omni, in a couple of months.
According to details, PSO outlets would offer services such as dealing in cash (debit and credit) with Omni’s customers, receiving payments against utility bills – electricity and gas – and opening mobile bank accounts.
Additionally, the oil marketing company is also at an advanced stage of venturing deals with Telenor Microfinance Bank, Habib Bank Limited, Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Ltd, an official of PSO told The Express Tribune.
“Offering (banking) services would help PSO increases its earnings,” said PSO Managing Director and CEO Imran ul Haque. “It would soon start earning profit that branchless banking agents earn on financial transactions.”
UBL Group Executive Retail Bank SEVP Zia Ijaz said his bank was about to finalise the agreement with PSO in this regard. “It may take us two months to start offering branchless banking services at PSO pumps.
“These services would be launched in a phased manner as the bank would simultaneously train staff to offer banking services as well.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2017.