ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has made giant strides  in development of digital financial inclusion and knowledge economy as a total volume of branchless banking reached over Rs 486 billion during October to December last year.

The number of branchless banking transactions also surpassed Rs. 101.6 billion during the same period.

The latest report of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) mentioning statistics of State Bank of Pakistan on Tuesday said the numbers are a testimony to the fact that mobile money has the potential to expand the reach of banking services to 85 % unbanked population.

The report said amalgamation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and banking services can help in moving towards a fully documented economy which is necessary to improve tax collection circle and achievement of 18 % tax to GDP ratio by 2025 as stated under goals of Pakistan Vision 2025.

The ‘Black Friday’ sale by on in November last year became an instant hit as more than 1.5 million people visited the website to avail discounts of up to Rs 132 million.

The business owners attribute the rapid expansion in e-commerce trends to the introduction of mobile broadband services in Pakistan as the explosive growth in e-commerce can safely be said to be one of the biggest benefits of Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS).

Financial Institutions (FIs) are front runners being early technology adopters of modern ICT opportunities for the transition from traditional bookkeeping to computer-based solutions.

Online banking, ATMs, virtual banking and mobile payment systems are some of the key banking services making full use of ICTs. Banks are reduced to a palm-sized phone as Telcos are providing banking services on mobile handsets through their mobile banking solutions.