SBP Releases Payment System Review for Quarter ended March 31, 2023

SBP Releases Payment System Review for Quarter ended March 31, 2023

Karachi, May 29, 2023: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has published a comprehensive review on the state of digital payments and infrastructure in the country. The review, covering the third quarter of FY23, highlights the continued growth and expansion of digital payment systems.

Key findings from the review reveal significant advancements in the digital payment landscape. The network of point-of-sale (POS) machines increased by 3.1% during the quarter, reaching a total of 112,302 machines by the end of March 2023

 Additionally, there were 9.3 million registered internet banking users and 15.3 million registered mobile phone banking users with banks and microfinance banks (MFBs). Furthermore, the number of e-commerce merchants registered with banks and MFBs totaled 6,562. Meanwhile, Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) opened 415,811 new e-wallet accounts, resulting in a total of 1.6 million accounts by the end of the quarter.

The SBP’s review is a compilation of statistics on payment system infrastructure, instruments, and transactions collected from banks, MFBs, and EMIs in Pakistan on a quarterly basis. The data is analyzed and published quarterly and annually to provide readers with a summary of the country’s existing payment systems landscape and their trends.

Regarding payment system instruments, the review reveals that Pakistan has a total of 48.4 million payment cards in circulation. Out of these, 46.0 million cards are issued by banks and MFBs, while the remaining 2.4 million are issued by EMIs. The cards can be categorized into debit, credit, prepaid, and social welfare cards. Debit cards account for the majority with 37.1 million cards (76.7%), followed by social welfare cards with 9.2 million (19.1%), credit cards with 1.9 million (4.0%), and prepaid cards with a minimal share of 0.2%.

In terms of payment system transactions, there is a positive trend in both large-value settlements (LVS) and retail transactions. During the third quarter of FY23, the number of LVS processed through PRISM increased by 4.6%, with the value rising by 13.9% to reach PKR 171.5 trillion. Government securities accounted for around 64% of PRISM transactions, followed by customer and third-party funds transfers at 32%.

E-banking transactions also witnessed growth during the quarter, with a total of 535.0 million transactions processed by banks and MFBs, amounting to PKR 44.3 trillion in value. Mobile phone and internet banking transactions experienced a significant increase, with volumes rising by 9.9% and values by 19.1%. Although the volume of e-commerce transactions declined, the value increased by 7.1%.

Paper-based transactions, on the other hand, showed a decrease in volume from 95.5 million in the second quarter of FY23 to 94.3 million by the end of the third quarter. However, the value of paper-based transactions increased by 3.0% to reach PKR 56.8 trillion.

The review also highlights the positive growth of Raast, Pakistan’s Instant Payment System launched by the SBP. The number of registered Raast users increased from 25.8 million in the previous quarter to 29.2 million in the current quarter of FY23. The transactions processed through Raast witnessed a remarkable 92.2% increase in volume and a 56.0% growth in value.

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