Digital Payments, Promoting Financial Inclusion in Pakistan

Digital Payments have transformed the way businesses operate when it comes to receiving payments and also the way customers make payments.

Digital Payments, Promoting Financial Inclusion in Pakistan

In Pakistan, digital payment gateways have the potential to steer the country into an era of cashless economy.

The government’s dream of digitization and the potential gains offered by it has helped the country boost financial inclusion, increase government revenues, and drive new economic opportunities for Pakistani individuals and businesses. In the light of digitization, the greater use of digital payments can significantly strengthen the country’s economy and society, now and for generations to come.

The need for digital payments has been evident during the COVID-19 crisis when more people have shifted to digital banking. Leading platforms such as Easypaisa, Jazzcash and others are helping millions of people to send and receive money with ease and are empowering the lives of Pakistanis with convenient and safe digital payment solutions. Easypaisa has recorded 35% increase in new activations while the number of daily transactions from the app has increased by 17% since the lockdown.

Bank transfers have also witnessed an increase of 184% and approximately 15% growth in airtime and bundles subscriptions has also been recorded. It shows the real potential of mobile wallets and emerging trend where people are comfortable in embracing digital payment services.

 The COVID-19 Pandemic has revealed the real potential of digital payment and mobile wallets. There is a dire need to incentivize digital payment to lead the journey toward an economy that is less dependent on cash. People should also be motivated to opt for applications like e-wallets, which offer a variety of options to the common man with a user-friendly interface. Pakistan has made significant progress in building the foundation of an inclusive digital payments ecosystem, and is starting to see the uptake of digital payments in some areas. The essential elements, including connectivity and financial infrastructure for shifting to digital payments arena, are in place with the Government playing a pivotal role in driving progress. However, further actions are needed that can drive the digitization of payments and deliver significant benefits across a range of stakeholders.

Significantly, there is also widespread recognition of the need to continue building an inclusive and responsible digital payments ecosystem. Shifting to e-wallets will drive financial inclusion, improve transparency of payments while opening up new markets for goods and services which will in turn support economic growth.