Women Account for Just 19% of All Debit Card Holders in Pakistan

The adoption and acceptance of digital instrument has been increasing steadily in the country but women still remain on the peripheries as only 19 percent of all debit card holders are women.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Payment Systems Review report for the January-March quarter of the current fiscal year (FY23), 80.7 percent of all debit card holders are male, 18.9 percent are female, and less than 0.1 percent fall under others category.

A similar trend is observed in prepaid and credit cards where the majority of cardholders are male. In the case of credit cards, 86.6 percent of all credit card holders are male, while the share of females is 13.1 percent.

However, for social welfare cards, 69 percent of card holders are female and 31 percent are male card holders.

Debit cards remain popular

As of quarter-end March 2023, total payment cards issued in Pakistan stood at 48.4 million of which, 46.0 million are issued by banks and microfinance banks (MFBs) while the remaining 2.4 million are issued by electronic money institutions (EMIs).

According to the report, payment cards in Pakistan can be categorized into 4 categories that include debit, credit, pre-paid, and social welfare cards.

Of the total cards in circulation, there are 37.1 million debit cards accounting for 76.7 percent of the share in total cards followed by 9.2 million social welfare cards (19.1 percent), 1.9 million credit cards (4.0 percent), and 0.2 percent prepaid cards.

Published by
Umer Tariq