KARACHI - Branchless Banking (BB) continued to show a rising trend in the third quarter (January-March 2012) of the current fiscal year during which BB transactions surged by 23 percent to 25.3 million as compared with 20.6 million in the preceding quarter, the State Bank of Pakistan said on Thursday. The value of these transactions was recorded at Rs 85.092 billion, showing a growth of 7 per cent as compared to Rs 79.410 billion in the quarter ended on December 31, 2011.According to SBP’s ‘Branchless Banking Newsletter’, the average daily BB transactions increased to 280,798 in the third quarter showing a growth of 23 percent as compared to 228,858 transactions in the previous quarter. BB deposits grew by 18 percent to Rs 594 million in Jan-March 2012 quarter as compared with Rs 503 million in the preceding quarter.The letter said total number of Branchless Banking agents increased by 19 percent to 26,792 in January-March FY12 quarter as compared with 22,512 in the quarter ended on December 31, 2011. Similarly, the total number of BB accounts surged by 14 percent to surpass one million mark (1,059,519) in the quarter under-review as compared with 929,184 in the previous quarter.The number of registered m-wallet accounts (a popular Branchless Banking service in which cash value is stored on mobile phone of a customer; this can be used to deposit, withdrawal, and money transfer through the mobile phone) reached to 1.03 million at the end of the quarter under review in which the number of active m-wallets is about 53%. About 5,573 debit cards have also been provided to mobile account holders, indicating efforts to create value proposition in m-wallets.It may also be mentioned here that promotion of branchless banking is an integral component of the SBP’s financial inclusion strategy which aims to stimulate inclusive growth in the country by reaching out to the financially under-served population of Pakistan.