KARACHI: The country is slowly and gradually making its way towards digitisation and in his latest efforts to strengthen the digital landscape, Prime Minister Imran Khan recently launched the ‘Digital Pakistan’ initiative aimed at introducing modern technology for public welfare.
With all segments of the economy marching in the direction of digitisation, the payment segment should not be left behind because it has a massive growth potential in the consumer-to-business market. Moving away from the traditional way of paying bills and standing in long queues at banks, digital payments have revolutionised the way businesses receive payments and the way customers make payments.
According to Statista, an online portal for statistics, the smartphone ownership as a percentage of population in Pakistan is forecast to reach 51% in 2020, five times higher than in 2014.
Hence, there is immense potential for mobile payment gateways as they provide convenience to users. Around the world, the most used digital wallets include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal, however, in Pakistan, there is a lack of technological advancement in the digital landscape.
The government has made all-out efforts to bring PayPal to the country but so far, all efforts have gone in vain.
Pakistan, with one of the fastest-growing populations across the globe, accounts for 200,000 freelancers and over 7,000 registered small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Cashing in on this growing market is Easypaisa, Pakistan’s first mobile banking platform launched in 2009, which is keen on transforming the way people pay their utility bills and transfer cash to any account.
Speaking at a media session on Thursday, Omar Moeen Malik - Head of Digital Payments & Wallets launched an upgraded version of the Easypaisa mobile application.
He elaborated on the success of Pakistani mobile wallet, mobile payments, and branchless banking services and also detailed how the new app was a one-stop solution for everything.
The digital payment platform received an overwhelming response from the working-class that considered it a safe way to transfer money from one place to another and now, the company wants everyone to use the app and benefit from the ease of digital payment.
“We want not just customers but also companies to see it as a platform,” stated Malik. With 6 million active account users of the service, Easypaisa has grown from 4,000 stores in 2009 to 75,000 stores at present.
When asked how Easypaisa planned to transform the digital landscape of Pakistan, Malik added that digitisation could very well enhance productivity keeping in view the hassle of completing basic documentation in most government departments of the country. “There is immense need to increase productivity and steer digitisation in all sectors of the economy so work gets done faster and less time is wasted,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2020.
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