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Despite COVID-19, Pakistanis still hesitant to adopt digital payments: Survey

  • Only 15 percent consumers have used digital payments for the first time during COVID-19.
  • 17pc male respondents used a digital payment method while 13pc were female.
06 Jul 2020

Despite restriction in movement amid lockdown measures imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, Pakistanis have remained hesitant to use digital payment options, found a new survey.

As per the latest survey conducted by Dun & Bradstreet and Gallup Pakistan, only 15 percent of consumers have used digital payments for the first time during COVID-19. 17pc male respondents used a digital payment method while 13pc were female.

The survey report conducted the views of 1,291 residents via telephonic surveys conducted from June 04 to June 16, 2020.

“Consumers have been hesitant to adopt digital payment systems as Pakistan is primarily a cash-based economy,” said the report. According to the data provided by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), digital payments account for only 0.2% of Pakistan’s 100 billion transactions annually.

The survey found that Sindh has been quick to adopt digital payments as 21 percent of respondents are first time users during COVID-19, as compared to 14pc each in Punjab and KPK, and only 6pc in Baluchistan.

Around 1 in 5 respondents in Sindh have used digital payments for the first time, the report found.

According to the May 2020 estimates, Pakistan has 166 million cellular subscribers with 80mn having 3G or 4G services. The broadband penetration in Pakistan was around 39pc in May 2020, this indicates that despite having the resources, respondents did not use digital payments.

The report revealed that consumers are hesitant to use online services after more than 80pc of respondents were found not using online mediums to order, learn, or communicate.