Online banking transactions up 23% in July-December: SBP

KARACHI: Transactions based on online banking increased by 23% to reach 33.38 trillion rupees in the quarters from October to December 202, compared to 27.19 trillion rupees in the previous quarter (July to September 2021) , the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Friday.

The SBP released a quarterly report indicating that electronic banking volume registered 10.7% to 400 million transactions from the previous quarter of 361.6 million.

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Online banking includes transactions conducted through electronic channels, including real-time online branches, ATMs, mobile banking, Internet banking, call center banking, point of sales and e-commerce.

It would be relevant to note that the growth of electronic banking transactions is much stronger than that of paper-based transactions, although the value of transactions is higher in the case of subsequent transactions.

The volume and value of paper transactions increased by 3.4% and 12.2% respectively.

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While the volume of online banking transactions is almost four times higher at 400 million than paper-based transactions at 101.4 million, the transaction value of the former stands at 33.4 trillion rupees compared to transactions on paper of 41.6 trillion rupees.

Overall online banking growth included the expansion of mobile and internet banking with double-digit increases in transaction value and volume during the second quarter. The number of mobile banking transactions stood at 94 million, while the value reached Rs 2.2 trillion, corresponding to a growth of 18.8% and 35.4% respectively on a quarterly basis. At the same time, the number of mobile banking users increased by 5% on a quarterly basis, reaching a total of 11.9 million users. Internet banking users reached 6.9 million, carrying out 33.8 million transactions, amounting to Rs 2.4 trillion, resulting in a strong growth of 13.9% in terms of volume and a 28% increase in the value of these transactions compared to the previous quarter.

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The retail industry also continued its surge in the adoption of digital payments. During the quarter, a total of 31.4 million transactions worth Rs 178.1 billion were processed through 92,153 point-of-sale (POS) terminals. This shows impressive double-digit quarterly growth of 11.8% in volume and 32.1% in value. Similarly, the number of e-commerce merchants also grew by 32.6% to a total of 3,968. The integration of QR merchants has been a major contributor to this growth. These merchants processed 13.6 million transactions worth Rs 26.7 billion, showing quarterly growth of 7.2% in volume and 19.8% in value.

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At the end of December 2022, there were 5.4% more cards than in the previous quarter, reaching 48.6 million cards in circulation, composed mainly of debit cards (63.5%), aid cards social (22.8%), ATM only cards (9.9%), credit cards (3.6%) and prepaid cards (0.3%). During this quarter, paper transactions showed relatively slower growth of 3.4% in volume and 12.2% in value on a quarterly basis. In the large value (wholesale) payments segment, SBP’s Real Time Interbank Settlement Mechanism (PRISM) processed a total of 1.1 million transactions amounting to Rs 161.3 trillion, posting quarterly growth of 5.9% in volume and 1.4% in value.

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