STAFF REPORT KHI: The start of branchless banking business in Pakistan by mobile phone operators is emerged as innovative which is helping banks in advancing services and their reach to public.

“Though the idea of branchless banking is not new in the world, but it has had a huge impact on the society in Pakistan,” said Dr Christoph H Loch, director at Cambridge Judge Business School, during his recent visit to the Karachi School for Business and Leadership (KSBL).

He said that the telecom operators are expected to take the number of bank accountholders to 70-80 million in Pakistan from 20 to 30 million presently; total population stands at 180 million.

Dr. Loch said that telecom operators are helping banks in overcoming limitations that they were facing in penetration into the society.

Telenor was first to launch such services about one-and-half year ago, while Mobilink and Zong started the services very recently. Services include paying utility bills, transferring cash from one account to another one, and some other financial transactions through mobile phones.

He said that he had found almost no gap between KSBL academia and businesses in Pakistan. “I had an interaction with some 150 senior businessmen at a reception in Pakistan. They did not give me impression that there was a gap between KSBL academia and businesses in the country.”

“If Pakistan wants to increase its international competitiveness and its income and wealth, then it needs managers,” he said.

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