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Vacuum of Smartphone Banking in Pakistan

Avatar Written by Ezaaz Waseem · 1 min read>

Smartphone Banking in Pakistan

Recently going through StumbleUpon (a webpages discovery engine recommended by a friend of mine) I came across a photography website. Though the website had nothing related to Smartphone banking but it had Ads in it. One of those was ICICI Bank i-safe. As the name suggests it was a smartphone app for banking. This was something new for me since all I knew was HBL MoneyWise as the only smartphone basic household budgeting app (totally useless). Apart from that I had a little idea of Standard Chartered Bank’s Breeze app that was to be launched soon.

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While getting to know this made me a lot more curious about what other banks were up to these days and to my surprise I came across so many Smartphone Apps introduced by various banks and the list was huge and more surprisingly some of the smallest countries with population less than 5 million were in the list (The Bank of New Zealand in this case). A population of a little over 180 million, 30 million internet users, an estimated 6 million smartphone users and 35+ Banks operating all across Pakistan with some renowned Global brands in the list only a single App by the name of Breeze (by Standard Chartered) that too on iOS alone was disappointing.

Like every other time when I think of finding some app over the phone I just hit a keyword and I get a response with more than 10 apps of the kind I want. Every other local newspaper, TV channel and even Political Parties have apps which are just for informational purposes, and maximum I see are, updated news-feeds and timings of programs. On the contrary Banking is the sector that needs it more than these channels. This is because it would not be a mere promotion of the Bank having it but on a larger scale a benefit to its customers having the account information, transfer of funds, top-up/payment of Balance/Bills on a click of a button.

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The new baby promotional ventures like UBL Omni, TimePey (Zong & Askari Bank), EasyPaisa (Telenor & Tameer Micro-Finance) or MobiCash (Mobilink & Waseela Micro-Finance) are neither that feasible as the TVCs show nor that effective for promotion of these brands/banks. A smartphone app investment and its promotion can be highly profitable and facilitating customers at the same time.

 On a humorous note Allied Bank says, “Aap ke Dil mein Hamara Account” – In your Hearts is our Bank Account

P.S: We need it on the phones not in our hearts

Written by Ezaaz Waseem
An Average Joe, Certified Project Manager, Avid Adventure Tourist, Explorer, Business Graduate, Writer and Infomaniac... To sum it up Still Learning... Profile