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E-Banking transactions

Electronic banking transactions have seen remarkable growth in recent years, as the transition from paper-based to online banking continues. The latest Payment Systems Review, released recently by the SBP, shows decent growth in both the volume and value of e-banking transactions in the last quarter of fiscal year 2011-12. The volumetric growth continues to be driven by the increasing issuance and circulation of plastic cards in the banking system. The figure was touching 18 million cards as of June 30, 2012, bulk of them debit cards. The up-gradation of bank branches to Real-Time Online Branches (RTOBs) is also contributing, with nearly 93 percent of the 10,000+ branches offering online banking, as per the SBP Review. The volume of the total e-banking transactions reached 74.56 million between April and June 2012 - a 13 percent growth over same period last year. Yet the total value increased by only five percent during the period, settling at Rs6.55 trillion. The volume growth is owing to a 15 percent year-on-year growth in ATM transactions. There was a phenomenal growth of 28 percent in the value of ATM transactions during the period. A six percent year-on-year growth in volume propelled the RTOB transactions to 21.7 million, valuing at Rs5.98 trillion in the quarter. Though the number of POS terminals is on a continuous decline, both the transaction volume and value were up by 22 percent each over same period last year. However, the impact is visible over previous quarter as the volume and value grew by only 4.5 and 2.1 percent in 4QFY12. The SBP review highlighted that the low-volume, high-value RTGS transactions also showed a decent quarterly performance (Rs28.97 trillion settled in 0.1 million transactions) with single-digit growth in both volumes and value. The regulator counts as RTGS transactions like settlements against securities, interbank funds transfers, and clearing of retail cheques. Other e-banking platforms have shown progress on a year-on-year basis. During the quarter, the Call Centres banking transactions value increased by 26 percent despite a six percent volume slip. Internet Banking showed a tremendous surge as volume grew by 33 percent and value by 43 percent. Despite a 19 percent volumetric decline, a 48 percent growth was seen in Mobile Banking transactions. E-banking is about providing choices and convenience to customers through innovative, affordable services. The encouraging trends in internet and mobile banking will certainly lead to lesser reliance on paper-based banking. While commercial banks have done well in limited time to achieve a noteworthy online banking footprint, it will take different strategies to increase traffic on other avenues listed above.


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