KARACHI - The State Bank of Pakistan has released Payment Systems Review for the quarter January to March 2014.

According to the report, 393 new ATMs were added to the network (growth rate of 5.1pc compared with that in the previous quarter) bringing the total number to 8,077. ATMs remained the preferred channel for cash withdrawals accounting for 81.2pc of the total amount transacted via this mode.

Total ATMs transactions constituted a volume share of 63.8pc and a value share of 8.1pc in total e-banking transactions.  Moreover, total transactions carried through ATMs showed an increase of 5.9pc in volume and 6.2pc in value of transactions compared with that in the previous quarter.  Pakistan Real-time Interbank Settlement Mechanism (PRISM), a large value payment system, showed a mixed trend of transactions settlement over the last five quarters. During the current quarter, total transactions settled in PRISM showed an increase of 10.2pc both in volume and value compared with that in the previous quarter and an increase of 28.7pc in volume and a decline of 1.6pc in value of transactions compared with that in the same quarter of the previous year.  The retail payment system in Pakistan is supported by payments made through branch network or through e-banking channels i.e. ATMs, POS, internet banking, mobile phone banking and call Centres/ IVR. Out of the existing 11,153 total bank branches, 10,601 are providing Real Time Online Banking services. Total RTOB transactions constituted a volume share of 23.9pc and a value share of 89.2pc in total e-banking transactions.  In the composition of RTOBs transactions, the share of cash withdrawals is 21.1pc in volume and 6.7pc in value of transactions, the share of Interbank Funds Transfer (IBFT) is 42.0pc in volume and 83.9pc in value of transactions and residual share of transactions pertain to cash deposits.

As of 31st March 2014, 24 banks are offering internet banking services, 13 are offering mobile phone banking and 22 are offering call centre/ IVR banking facility to the customers for bill payments, fund transfers and other banking services. During the current quarter, 68 POS machines have been added in the network bringing the total number of POS machines to 33,802.

Internet banking constituted a volume share of 4.4pc and a value share of 2.1pc, mobile phone banking constituted a volume share of 1.6pc and value share of 0.2pc and call centers/ IVR banking constituted volume share of 0.2pc and value share of 0.03pc in total e-banking transactions. Moreover, total transactions carried through internet banking showed an increase of 15.7pc in volume and 7.0pc in value of transactions, total transactions carried through POS showed an increase of 7.7pc in volume and 10.4pc in value, mobile phone banking transactions showed an increase of 14.1pc in volume and 13.3pc in value of transactions and total transactions carried through call centre/ IVR banking showed a decline of 1pc in volume and an increase of 4.1pc in value of transactions compared with that in the previous quarter. In the composition of plastic cards, debit cards have the highest percentage share of over 90.6pc followed by credit cards with 5.5pc and ATMs Only cards with 3.9pc share as of quarter ended 31st March, 2014.   The total number of plastic cards showed an increase of 8.6 pc compared with that in the previous quarter and a growth of 11.7pc compared with that in the same quarter of the previous year.