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Branchless banking accounts grow by 20pc

May 4, 2014

Branchless banking in the country continues to grow substantially. The number of these accounts has reached 2.1 million from October-December 2012, registering an impressive growth of 20 percent, reports the latest branchless banking newsletter issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

The growth in branchless banking is mainly attributed to 49 percent growth in level zero accounts. Level 3 accounts also registered significant growth of 37 percent during the quarter mainly due to the entry of two new players, Mobicash and Timepey, while a marginal growth of two percent was observed in both level 1 and 2 accounts.

The SBP said that almost 35 million transactions worth Rs151 billion have been processed during the quarter. The average size of a transaction was Rs4,278, while the average number of transactions per day increased from 354,367 to 392,433 during the previous quarter.

The fast growing network of branchless banking agents reached 41,567 as of December 31, 2012 from 30,540 on June 30, 2012, registering an increase of 36 percent. This growth is attributable mainly to the entry of new players. However, this number does not take into account shared agents (i.e., an agent serving multiple providers). Branchless banking deposits have grown by 35 percent to Rs1 billion while person-to-person fund transfers constituted a significant share of 33 percent in value of total transactions, it said.

According to the newsletter, bill payments and top-ups increased by 45 percent ranked top, followed by person-to-person fund transfers, which showed 34 percent rise in growth. Government-to-person fund transfer welfare payments through branchless banking channels have increased from Rs4.1 billion to Rs5 billion, registering a growth of 27 percent during the quarter. Moreover, Rs2.7 million has also been disbursed to Employees' Old-Age Benefit Institution's pensioners through agents.

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Source: Daily Messenger (Pakistan)

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