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Pakistan

President appreciates SBP for lead in promoting financial inclusion of women, digital payments

  • On digital payments, the Governor SBP briefed the President on various initiatives to promote it in the country.
09 Dec 2020

KARACHI: President, Dr. Arif Alvi has appreciated Governor, State Bank of Pakistan , Dr. Reza Baqir for SBP initiatives in the areas of women empowerment through financial inclusion and expanding the landscape of digital payments in the country.

He was speaking at an online meeting with SBP Governor , SAPM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Dr.Sania Nishtar, senior SBP officers, Presidents/CEOs of banks and other stakeholders, said SBP statement here on Tuesday.

On Women Empowerment, Governor SBP gave a detailed briefing to the President about a number of regulatory and financing measures taken by the Central Bank to enhance the flow of financial services to women.

He said that SBP has been providing financing under its subsidized Refinance and Credit Guarantee Scheme for women entrepreneurs since 2017 to facilitate women owned start-ups and small scale businesses by providing loans of up to Rs five million.

For the benefit of the women of Balochistan by encouraging them to avail loans under this scheme, 20 percent of this fund had been reserved for women entrepreneurs of the province.

Governor said SBP’s efforts were aligned to the Government’s priorities of encouraging self-employment as under the Prime Minister Kamyab Jawan Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme a quota of 25 percent had also been reserved for the women.

He remarked that SBP was collaborating with Ehsaas program to implement the Prime Minister’s vision of having ‘One Woman One Account’ beyond the existing facility of cash disbursements through branchless banking agents only.

He also highlighted the key features of SBP’s upcoming ‘Banking on Equality’ Policy, which would ensure equality in banking and reduce gender gap in financial inclusion.

On digital payments, the Governor SBP briefed the President on various initiatives to promote it in the country.

He elaborated SBP’s multi pronged strategy including developing an interoperable and digital payments infrastructure, providing enabling legal and regulatory environment, ensuring security of digital payment channels and finally promoting and experimenting with new technologies and Fintech companies.

Sharing numbers on the progress of digital payments, SBP's Governor updated the President that digital transactions in Pakistan had seen an upward trend in recent years.

He highlighted that, during FY20, 906 million transactions amounting to Rs 66 trillion were processed through retail e-Banking channels, whereas internet-banking channels processed 57 million transactions amounting to Rs 3 trillion.

He added that a promising growth could also be witnessed in mobile banking with three million new users added within one year and overall number of transactions of 83 million worth Rs 2 trillion during the fiscal year. Also, e-commerce transactions amounting to Rs 35 billion were conducted and bill payments worth Rs 213 billion were made by consumers using digital payment channels in Pakistan.

President Dr. Arif Alvi thanked Governor for SBP’s efforts and progress on women empowerment and promotion of digital payments.

He also acknowledged the role of MPG in unlocking the potential for economic benefits.

He also appreciated the idea that the young female entrepreneurs with large social media following may be identified as brand ambassadors to create awareness among public about SBP policies and products for promoting gender financial inclusion.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr. Sania Nishtar thanked SBP Governor and other management for extending support and facilitation to Ehsaas beneficiaries through branchless banking. They were working with SBP on use of micro payment gateway for facilitating digital payments to Ehsaas beneficiaries.

Earlier, Deputy Governor Ms. Sima Kamil gave an update on implementation timelines of micropayment gateway. The meeting was also attended by CEO/Presidents of banks and representatives from digital payments ecosystem, who shared their unique perspectives and experiences on women empowerment and digital payments.