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PTA, SBP signed MOU on Regulatory Framework for Mobile Banking Interoperability

by Sohaib Rizvi

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) have signed an MoU on Regulatory Framework for Mobile Banking Interoperability to develop a cohesive regulatory framework that leads towards achieving the common objective of providing low-cost mobile banking services.

PTA-SBP collaboration will play a key role in achieving the objectives of National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).

Minister of State for IT and Telecom Ms Anusha Rahman Ahmad Khan was the chief guest at the signing ceremony while Governor State Bank of Pakistan Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, Chairman PTA Dr Syed Ismail Shah and CEO & President Mobilink Jeffrey Hedberg were also present.

Ms Anusha Rahman said: “These Regulations shall not only provide a level playing field for telcos and financial institutions, but also introduce a neutral third party model where telcos and banks can join hands together to create a sustainable mobile banking ecosystem.” According to her mobile money services provide a convenient and viable channel for financial services to the unserved people in Pakistan. “There are almost 29 million mobile broadband subscribers in Pakistan, which provides a lucrative platform for proliferation of value added financial services through mobile applications. Therefore, telcos and financial institutions should put efforts to tap this potential,” the minister added.

Dr Syed Ismail Shah highlighted the potential of Mobile Banking services in Pakistan and said there was a huge incentive to capitalize on the next generation mobile banking opportunities and all institutions should work together to include the unbanked population in banking services through digital platforms in the next 5 years. He also said PTA would issue quality of service benchmarks, from time to time, regarding network availability, resource availability, reliability, priority SMS, message delivery and security standards required for protecting consumer sensitive data and consumer financial data.

Ashraf Mahmood Wathra said the MOU would be remembered as a milestone in the history of telecom and banking sectors of the country.

Jeffrey Hedberg said our market had rapidly grown and Mobilink was proud to be a leading player along with other operators in pushing this agenda forward. “We have seen a huge surge in acceptance and usage of digital financial services putting Pakistan as the front-runner in this region.”

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