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Banks’ 94.4pc branches offer Real‐Time Online services

Banks’ 94.4pc branches offer Real‐Time Online services

CUSTOMS TODAY REPORT

 LAHORE: Electronic Banking is an essential sector of banking industry. E-banking services are gaining the attention of conventional banking’s customers rapidly. It has brought the revolutionary changes in the Pakistan banking industry in terms of customer and business perspectives.

Electronic banking and branchless banking transactions continued to show growth momentum as both the volume and value of these transactions displayed a rising trend in the country. Electronic banking has got popularity in the developed as well as developing countries because it saves people time, reduces costs and people have access to all banking services on the click of a button. More often, the new innovated system allows the customers to touch their accounts at home using a mobile device or electronic terminals. Electronic banking is today’s need as it provides easy way to monitor an account. Most of the commercial banks in the country switched to the convenience ways in accessing the accounts of the customers and giving them the freedom for the easy access.

Over ninety‐four percent of banks’ branches in Pakistan are now offering Real‐Time Online Branches (RTOB) services as 50 more bank branches were added to the RTOB network during the third quarter of the current fiscal year (FY13), says the State Bank of Pakistan’s Payment Systems Review for the third quarter of FY13.

Overall 9,946 branches of banks out of 10,535 now offer RTOB services across the country. The volume of overall e‐banking transactions in the country also increased by 3.47 percent amounting to 82.21 million transactions and value of e‐banking transactions registered a growth of 4.37 percent reaching Rs 7.9 trillion during the third quarter of the current fiscal year, the Review added.

The Payment Systems infrastructure in the country maintained an increasing growth trend during the third quarter of FY13 and 217 more Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were installed by various banks bringing the total number of ATMs in the country to 6,449. The Review said that the number of plastic cards in the country also witnessed an increase of 5.06 percent in the third quarter reaching 21.77 million. In comparison with other cards, debit cards have shown the highest percentage growth of about 5.41 percent which has raised the total number of debit cards so far issued to 19.57 million. Moreover, debit cards have the highest share in the total number of plastic cards issued in the country which is 89.94 percent in the current quarter of FY 13.

Transactions through debit cards have also increased both in volume and value as compared to the previous quarter which is 6.2 percent and 8.82 percent respectively, the Review added. The Review highlighted that of all the e‐banking transactions, mobile transactions show the highest percentage increase since the previous quarter of current fiscal year. The transactions increased by 22.84 percent in terms of volume reaching the number of 1.12 million as compared to 0.91 million in the preceding quarter. Similarly, the value of mobile transactions also showed highest percentage increase compared to the previous quarter of current fiscal year. The value of transactions increased by 30.66 percent reaching Rs. 7.3 billion compared to Rs. 5.6 billion in the preceding quarter, the Review further elaborated.