Branchless banking companies have opened up more than 50 million mobile wallet accounts on their networks due to the wide presence of their services in various districts of the country including remote areas, according to statistics by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
The penetration of the services was possible due to 0.408 million branchless banking agents providing easy account opening conditions to the customers.
Interestingly, the wallet account holders of the branchless banking companies are over three times higher than the account holders of the conventional banks.
Against of 51.8 million wallet accounts, there are merely 16 million bank accounts maintained by the commercial and microfinance banks.
There are nine branchless banking companies operating in Pakistan with two big companies holding a major share of over 80 percent across the country—Easypaisa of Telenor Pakistan and JazzCash by Jazz. These companies have outdone its market players through the support of microfinance banks, marketing muscle, brand activation campaign, and incentives for customers.
Mobile Wallet Accounts Are Inactive
In spite of the fact the number wallet account continued to increase on multiple networks of nine branchless banking companies, the number of inactive accounts stood more than 50 percent, i.e, 25.9 million wallet accounts are not being used for transactions of money for longer period of time in one year.
Major companies attract customers through various discount deals on the purchase of goods through their accounts but the use of these accounts cannot be done on regular basis once the discount offers are utilized.
Branchless banking companies are making investments and make profits alike but the potential of wallet accounts has not been explored up to the mark requiring a combined efforts of the industry level to go to the next level. Recently, one of the companies have initiated an incentivized scheme to activate the inactive accounts though it needs to be done on sustainable basis while other has to follow it.
Besides the wallet accounts, the transactions by active account holders showed a steady growth as similar to the growth in different areas of services such as money transfer, payment of utility bills, G2P and etc.
Punjab Maintains Major Share
The services of branchless banking companies are used frequently in the cities of Punjab with more than 50 percent share in the accountholders base. It is followed by Sindh with less than 20 percent wallet accountholders in the overall base. Less than 10 percent of wallet accountholders belong to provinces such as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and less than 1 percent of mobile accountholders are from Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Over 80 percent wallet accountholders of branchless banking companies are male and the rest of 20 percent are female in the country.