The userbase and use of mobile and internet banking has recorded impressive growth during the January to March 2020 due to wavier of charges on these services and closure of thousands of branches across the country due to the lockdown.
According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP),
The increase in transactions through the internet and mobile banking channels has been quite promising, as these channels have provided an easy and round-the-clock alternative to its customers during the COVID-19 pandemic to fulfill their daily financial and banking needs. It is expected that the increasing trend will continue in the next quarter, due to the steps taken by the State Bank of Pakistan to promote digitization during these stricken times.
In Pakistan, 27 banks are providing mobile banking facilities to their customers with the number of registered users surging to 8.2 million, which is an increase of 11.3% from January to March from last quarter.
During the quarter under review, these users processed 21.2 million transactions worth Rs. 467.5 billion using mobile phone banking apps, exhibiting a growth of 19.1% by volume and 22.2% by value over the last quarter.
27 banks are offering internet banking services with a registered network of 3.8 million users that showed a growth of 6.9% over the previous quarter. During the quarter under review, 14.1 million transactions worth Rs. 748.1 billion were processed through internet banking, showing a growth of 6.0% by volume and 1.6% by value.
Growth in the utility of mobile and internet banking was recorded as customers preferred to choose these banking channels to avoid visiting a bank.
In March this year, the central bank not only waived off the charges on digital banking but it also suspended the biometric verification of customers to encourage them to use alternate channels. The usage and userbase of mobile and internet banking also recorded a definite growth in the latter months.
Gradually, mobile and internet banking are enhancing their share in the traditional way of banking including phone banking.
23 banks are providing banking services through call center/IVR with a registered userbase of 32.2 million. During the quarter under review, 46.6 thousand transactions amounting to Rs. 3.2 billion were processed by Call Centers/IVR Banking.
Although the registered customer base is high, the transactional volume and value in comparison to the internet and mobile banking transactions suggest that customers are still not inclined to use banking services through call center/IVR on a routine basis as substantiated from the fact that transactional volume through call center/IVR has been quite low and further decelerated by 5.3% during Q3 FY20.