United Bank Limited (UBL) has launched Pakistan’s first digital branch, located at the City Campus of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi. The completely automated facility runs without the physical presence of any bank staff. Although a pilot branch in its current form, the digital branch is able to provide a host of services including account opening and other service elements such as cash deposits and withdrawals, interbank fund transfers, instant debit card issuance and replacement card requests.
According to the press release, by initiating operations of this digital branch in a pilot form, UBL intends to test and ensure a seamless experience for the customer. After the successful launch of the pilot branch, the bank plans to expand these digital branches nationwide.
Customers are greeted and facilitated through their banking transactions using a combination of digital technologies and a remotely located teller accessed through video-link. These features enable the digital branch to be accessible for all customers even after banking hours.
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The branch was inaugurated by Wajahat Husain, President and CEO of UBL and Syed Irfan Ali, Executive Director, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). “Pakistan today is at the cusp of a fintech revolution. This stems from a confluence of factors ranging from widespread adoption of digital technology to a regulator that is actively encouraging embracing of technology, with proper controls, in banking,” said Husain. “By supporting disruptive technological developments in Pakistan, the banking industry will accelerate the national objective of financial inclusion and serve its customers better through improved products and services.”
Speaking at the occasion Ali said, “SBP sees digital banking as the future of banking and this initiative of UBL will help enhance financial inclusion. This unique facility at the IBA would help spread fintech culture in Pakistan.”