Pakistan State Oil (PSO), national oil distributor, is all set to jump into the branchless banking sector. Backed by round the clock availability of cash and 3,600 retail outlets (pumps), PSO fulfills the requirements of setting up a branchless bank by default.
Thousands of pumps across the country can ensure nationwide coverage, something which could otherwise take a lot of time and capital.
Within the next two months, PSO’s fuel stations will begin branchless banking operations. By next January, PSO plans to offer branchless banking services across all outlets in the country. The oil distributor will partner with United Bank Limited (UBL) Omni branchless service in the next couple of months.
PSO outlets are expected offer services like opening new accounts, cash transactions (crediting and debiting amounts) with UBL Omni’s customers, making utility bill payments and more.
The national oil distributor is also in talks with Telenor Microfinance Bank, Habib Bank Limited, Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Ltd for more joint ventures.
PSO’s Managing Director and CEO, Imran ul Haque said
“Offering (banking) services would help PSO increases its earnings. It would soon start earning profit that branchless banking agents earn on financial transactions.”
UBL Group Executive Retail Bank Senior Executive Vice President, Zia Ijaz, confirmed his bank’s deal with PSO and told that UBL is about to finalise its agreement with PSO. Though, he added “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.”