Digital payments in Pakistan have earned a major boost in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic as people are rising banknote use out of fear of contracting the virus.
Pakistan’s first e-commerce index, Daraz, shows an increase in digital payments during the lockdown and a rise in demand for online shopping.
The official data of Daraz showed that the country’s digital payments started to pick up in 2019. On Daraz, digital payments contributed 32% of overall customer spending and year-on-year use of e-wallets grew 8.2 fold.
Pakistan remains a cash-reliant economy, and consequently, the collection of credible data on the development of the e-commerce sector remained a challenge in large measure.
JS Bank Country Head – Branchless Banking and Digital Implementation Noman Azhar told Pak Revenue,
“The payments through the JS wallet rose 10-12% since the government and the State Bank of Pakistan encouraged the use of digital transactions amid the lockdown. Traffic from branches has shifted to the JS wallet.”
“Conventional shoppers now prefer making payments through debit or credit cards rather than in cash. This has also augmented cashless transactions at all stores and online orders increased in March,” said the Carrefour Pakistan Country Manager Jean-Marc Dumont
“During this period of uncertainty, we have witnessed a shift in customer behavior with demand for essential products growing rapidly, which is a strong indication that e-commerce can serve as a solution,” he added.
During the current crisis, the President and CEO of Telenor Microfinance Bank Mudassar Aqil urged the public to embrace digital finance.