State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad Wednesday said that the central bank is working on various digital initiatives including the launch of a quick response (QR) code by next year that will enable small merchants to receive payments from their customers instantly.
Talking about the financial horizon of the country at Pakistan Fintech Forum 2022, he said that the central bank is working on open banking initiatives, under which it would share customer data, with their consent, with other financial institutions so that they can build better customer-centric products.
The governor said that SBP is also conducting the cost-benefit analysis of central bank digital currency (CBDC). He said that SBP realizes the importance of sharing customer data to promote innovation and to make financial systems even more accessible. However, this needs to be done in a safe and secure manner to maintain the security of the customers’ data.
The governor said SBP is working intensively to make a conducive environment for fintechs that promise solutions for financial inclusion. He said that these disruptive digital technologies provide us with the opportunity to make people financially included. These technologies not only provide us with financial services but also enable businesses to identify customer needs and create value for them.
He said that fintechs are now accepted by both traditional financial institutions and non-financial players, ranging from smart startups and large technology firms. He said that owing to the new disruptive technologies, today’s consumer preferences as well as the needs of businesses are evolving rapidly.
On the one hand, consumers are demanding newer and more convenient services and on the other hand, businesses are striving to identify the needs of their potential customers and find ways to fulfill them.
New business models based on data sharing and advanced predictive computing are not only enabling these businesses to proactively identify and fulfill their customer’s needs but also to address their risks in innovative ways, said the governor.
He mentioned that App-based platforms enable enhanced collaboration among different types of service providers. These platforms are playing an important role not only in providing financing to various sectors such as agriculture, SMEs, housing, etc., but also helps in better risk management of the business.
The governor said that we have most of the enabling factors in place in Pakistan today that allow the blossoming of the tech-based financial ecosystem in the country. These include a fully functional ID system along with penetration of mobile and broadband services, availability of faster payment systems, remote account opening process, and facilitative regulatory frameworks for enabling entry of non-bank entities into the financial arena.