Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) & State Bank of Pakistan have jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 11th January 2012 at Karachi, to formalize cooperation between the two institutions for a common objective of promoting Mobile Banking in Pakistan. With this MoU, both the regulators (PTA and SBP) have shown their interest and commitment in stimulating mobile banking services in the country. The MoU was signed at a local hotel in Karachi after a meeting of all stakeholders involved in Mobile Banking followed by a signing ceremony. Mr. Farooq Ahmed Awan, Secretary (IT),, Mr. Yaseen Anwer Governor State Bank of Pakistan and Dr. Muhammad Yaseen Chairman PTA witnessed the ceremony. Senior management of the commercial banks, cellular Mobile operators as well as seniors officers from PTA and SBP also attended the ceremony.
Chairman PTA, Dr. Muhammad Yaseen while addressing the audience highlighted the potential of Mobile Banking services in Pakistan as only 12% of the adult population of Pakistan has access to formal banking services so far. Out of totlal population of 177 Million, only 27 million people have access to the banking services. Today Pakistan has over 122 million cellular mobile subscribers which is the potential target market for mobile banking services. With the upcoming 3G licensing this potential will increase by many folds.
Governor State Bank of Pakistan while speaking at the event, said that MoU signed between PTA and State Bank will be remembered as a mile stone in the history of Telecom and banking sectors. He said that branchless banking in Pakistan will have positive impact on the GDP growth of the country. He further said that branchless banking is a modern facility which will be beneficial for people of Pakistan. Admiring the role of PTA, the Governor State Bank said that it is a vibrant and forward looking regulator which is playing important role to promote and develop the emerging field of branchless and mobile banking in the country. The Governor State Bank said at present the number branchless banking in the country is slightly over 10,000. Total number of accounts opened till now stand at over 800,000. The average number of transactions a day through branchless banking are around 180,000 he added.
As agreed with SBP, PTA will issue Class Value Added Services licenses to third party services Providers who will act as facilitator and mediator between telcos and financial institutions for smooth transactions, data verification and mobile banking applications. This arrangement will be made in accordance with Third Party Service Provider Regulations to be issued by PTA as well as guidelines by SBP. Third Party licenses will be beneficial for the FI’s and Mobile operators as it will avoid cost duplication as well as reduce the cost of provision of mobile banking services. Through Third Party Service Providers (TPSP), Mobile Consumer of any network would be able to receive and transfer money all across the country. Particularly, the lower strata of the country would be able to remit their finances back home easily. After implementation of proposed arrangement, the consumers will have the most attractive benefit of keeping bank account in their pocket with advantages like low cost and fast transfers etc.