KARACHI: In contrast to the five licences for digital banking that were advertised as being issued soon to successful institutions, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has received 20 applications so far as banks are the crux of second digital revolution in the country.
While, addressing the 15th international conference on Mobile Commerce 2022 organized by Total Communications, Syed Irfan Ali Managing Director of Deposit Protection Corporation (DPC) due diligence of banks and financial institutions for digital banking license is underway and soon licenses will be issued. “This is just the beginning of digital banking in Pakistan,” he added.
He said the state bank has decided to issue only five licenses in the beginning to kick-start the journey in digital banking. The financial institutions, who have applied for digital banking license, are including top five banks operating in the country.
Irfan Ali hoped the forthcoming digital banks may offer banking services to unbanked people and business in remote areas including Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, bordering areas, Thatta, Thar, Cholistan, Gilgit, Hunza, and Skardu.
In order to connect non-resident Pakistanis with banks operating in the country, Roshan Digital Account (RDA) and now its inflows have crossed $4.5 billion mark with a record one-day inflows of $57 million on Tuesday, June 21, he mentioned. He claimed that it was Pakistan which first formed rules and regulations for branchless banking in the world and acquired a fantastic result of that.
Shazad G Dada, President and CEO, UBL Bank in his video message said that Pakistan is about to embark second digital revolution in the banking sector ahead the award of digital banking licenses. Banks, telecom and technology firms have formed a fantastic collaboration under the first digital revolution in Pakistan, he added.
Omar El Gammal, SVP Global Business Development, Paymob, Egypt, announced that Paymob has entered into Pakistani market to primary provide online and digital banking services to SME sector. The Egyptian digital payment company “would deploy 100,000 merchants over the next two years in Pakistan,” he said.
Qasif Shahid, Cofounder & CEO, Finja said PWC has placed Pakistan’s economy among top 32 countries around the world by 2030. Other speakers said digital banking may appear challenging. At the same time, major benefits of the banking would be including accelerating drive for financial inclusion, reduction in banking cost and getting rid of paper-based banking. The one-day conference was also featured four panel discussions including Digital Banks: The Dawn of a New Era?, Digital Lending: Insights from Actual Practice, and How is Fintech Disrupting Commerce and Islamic and Digital Finance.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022