Credit cards business declining: State Bank

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KARACHI: The business of credit cards has been declining in Pakistan as their holdings dropped significantly during the last quarter (October-December) of the previous calendar year, said a State Bank report issued on Friday. “The number of plastic cards (Debit, Credit and ATM Only Cards) reached 22.38 million showing a decline of 4.2 per cent compared with that in the previous quarter,” said the SBP in its report on ‘Payment Systems Review’ for the quarter.

“The credit cards showed a significant drop of 11.4pc compared to the last quarter,” said the report. Banks have been identifying that the credit cards are limited to a particular segment of society. In fact, banks do not offer credit cards to the general public, and getting a credit card has been made difficult.

“In contribution of Plastic Cards, Debit Cards have the highest share of 89.6pc,” it said.

The volume of e-banking transactions in Pakistan has grown considerably over the years. During October-December 2013, the volume and value of overall e-banking transactions grew by 5.1pc and 8.7pc compared with the previous quarter (July-September 2013), and by 22.7pc and 10pc when compared with the October-December period of 2012.

Further, in the composition of total e-banking transactions, ATM has the highest share of 63.3pc in Volume and 7.6pc share in value of transactions. Real-time online banking (RTOB) has the highest share of 89.9pc in value with 25.2pc share in volume of transactions.

The number of transactions through ATMs reached over 61.7m in the quarter under review. As on 31st December 2013, for every 100,000 people there were 4.2 ATMs in the country and Rs635 billion was transacted using this channel during the period.

The number of online branches is 10,596 which accounts for around 95pc of the total bank branches in the country; around 24.5m transactions amounting to Rs7.48 trillion were performed via this channel during the three-month period.

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