KARACHI - Ninety-four per cent of banks’ branches in Pakistan are now offering Real-Time Online Branches (RTOB) services as 484 more branches were added to the RTOB network during the second quarter of the current fiscal year (FY13), says the State Bank of Pakistan’s Payment Systems Review for the second quarter of FY13 released on Wednesday.

Overall, 9,896 branches of banks out of 10,523 now offer RTOB services across the country. The value and volume of RTOB transactions also increased by 18.82 per cent and 14.29 per cent respectively during the second quarter as compared to the previous quarter of the current fiscal year, the Review added. The value and volume of overall e-banking transactions in the country increased by 18.02 per cent and 11.31 per cent during the second quarter to reach Rs 7.6 trillion and 79.45 million respectively as compared to the first quarter, according to the Review.

The Payment Systems infrastructure in the country maintained an increasing growth trend during the second quarter of FY13 and 245 more Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were installed by banks, bringing the total number of ATMs in the country to 6,232, the Review said, adding that ATM transactions, in terms of volume of overall e-banking transactions, have a major share of 61.12 per cent with an average value of Rs 9,779 per transaction. The Review said that the number of plastic cards in the country also witnessed an increase of 5.33 per cent in the second quarter compared to the preceding quarter as over 20.72 million plastic cards were issued in the country by the end of December, 2012.

The value and volume of transactions through Point of Sale (POS) terminals stood at Rs. 22.1 billion and 4.5 million in the second quarter which showed a growth of 6.25 and 5.06 per cent respectively as compared to the first quarter of the current fiscal year, according to the Review.

The Review pointed out that the recorded value and volume of large-value payments through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) was Rs.42.13 trillion and one lakh twenty one thousand six hundred sixty three (1,21,663) respectively in the second quarter, depicting an increase of 9.46 per cent in value and 10.35 per cent in volume as compared to the first quarter.