Banks Payment Cards Grow to Over 36.6 Million in Pakistan

The use of plastic money has been on the rise in Pakistan with the increasing of awareness among the public.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the number of payment cards issued in Pakistan reached 36.6 million in June 2017, up from from 33.6 million in end of June, 2016 showing the YoY growth of 8.8%.

Break-up of Payment Cards

  • Debit Cards are 17.9 million with 48.7 percent share in user base.
  • ATM Only Cards are 8.05 million with 22 percent share in user base .
  • Credit Cards are 1.3 million with 3.5 percent share in user base.
  • Social Welfare Cards are 9.11 million with 24.9 percent share in user base.

The transactions of money or cash withdrawals through these cards are done by customers through banking infrastructure such as ATM and POS machines wherever available in the country.

Among these cards, debit and credit cards are also used for online shopping on different E-commerce service providers. There are 571 locally registered E-Commerce Merchants having their merchant accounts in 8 banks (as of end of June 2017) showing limited boarding of E-Commerce merchants in the country.

Debit Cards

The number of reported Debit Cards in circulation were 17.9 million. During the year under review, 362.1 million transactions worth Rs. 4.1 trillion were processed using Debit Cards.

Debit Card transactions contributed a share of 0.7 million (27.1%) in volume and Rs. 4.9 billion (23.5%) in value of E-Commerce transactions during the year. 26.1 million POS transactions worth Rs.108.5 billion were conducted using Debit Cards.

Credit Cards

Up until June 2017, the number of reported credit cards in circulation were 1.3 million. During the financial year 2016-17, 1.8 million E-Commerce transactions of worth Rs. 15.0 billion and 23.9 million POS transactions of Rs.136.5 billion were processed by these Credit Cards.

Among the total E-Commerce transactions of the year, Credit Card transactions have the highest share of 1.8 million (67.5%) in volume and Rs. 15.0 billion (72.3%) share in value.

Social Welfare Cards

Social welfare cards are issued by the Government of Pakistan or provincial governments to support needy and disaster affected people.

These cards include Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Watan Cards and payment Cards issued for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) due to flood disasters or any other reasons. During the year under review, 10.7 million transactions worth Rs. 44.6 Billion were conducted using these cards.

Paper based Transactions

Despite the expansion of e-Payment Channels and instruments, a variety of paper based instruments like cheques, Pay Orders, Demand Drafts, Telegraphic Transfer, Dividend Warrants etc. are still widely used within the country. Among these paper based instruments, cheques are the preferred mode of transactions for cash withdrawals, funds transfers, commercial and Government payment transactions.

The share of other paper-based instruments is fairly insignificant in terms of volume and value of transactions.

During the year under review, 451.8 million transactions of worth Rs. 139.6 trillion were carried out using paper based instruments. These transactions showed a growth of 3.8% in volume of transactions and a decline of 4.4% in value of transactions, which included 99.4 million paper based instruments used for depositing Rs 11.3 trillion into bank accounts.

Despite the increased adoption of eBanking channels, cash payments remained relatively high reflecting the preferred use of cash as mode of payment.

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