STAFF REPORT KHI: The growth momentum of the branchless banking sector is gaining ground in Pakistan despite the conventional difficulties and overall challenging macro conditions. The recently released fourth quarterly issue of the SBPs Branchless Banking newsletter series shows yet another period of impressive all-round gains in the sector.

The Branchless Banking services penetration has increased by a handsome 37 per cent between April and June for the registered number of mobile banking accounts is said to have reached 1.45 million as of June end.

The coverage of the Branchless Banking network is also heading north with double-digit growth, as nearly 30,000 agents are now spread out across 90 per cent of the countrys districts.

Hence, the transaction mix is dominated by cash transfers, bill payments and mobile top-ups. SBP has estimated that 26.36 million transactions took place during the quarter ending June 2012, with a massive liquidity of Rs115.3 billion or 1.21 billion dollars exchanging hands.

As there is more growth in transaction value, the average transaction size increased from Rs 3,853 in 1QCY12 to Rs 4,065 in 2QCY12.

While the emergence of new players in the sector is required for more penetration and adoption of BB services, experts opine that it is equally important to have in place interoperable networks soon.

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