In a move focused on achieving the highest level of financial inclusion, the State Bank of Pakistan (DBP) is set to launch a new category of banking services called Digital Banks. According to Syed Irfan Ali, the Executive Director of SBP, this new category of banking services will provide more people with access to banking services.
He said that the current crop of banks will be allowed to operate online services without the need for physical locations.
At the moment, the SBP is working on a regulatory framework for the operation of the digital banks. The framework will cover several areas including;
- The minimum amount of capital a bank would need to run the digital banking services.
- Entry requirements for the establishment of a digital bank.
- The criteria of on-boarding customers among other regulations.
According to Ali, “Digital bank incorporates new and developing technologies throughout a financial services entity, in concert with associated changes in internal and external relationships, to provide enhanced customer services and experiences effectively and efficiently.”
This is in line with the changing needs of customers as the adoption of technology and other such tools goes up. The focus is to avail services as fast as possible whenever the customers need them.
He also stated that “SBP is working on development of a concept paper on Digital Banks. This concept paper would include the international experiences of Digital Banks, regulatory framework available, best international practices etc.”
Owing to the availability of fast internet all over the country, most citizens are adopting the use mobile banking. The inclusion of digital banks will further enhance the penetration of branchless banking which is quickly catching up.
When these services are finally launched, it will help a lot of the unbanked part of the society to easily access banking services.