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Branchless banking accounts in Pakistan go up

The number of branchless banking accounts rose by 44.4% to 10.8 million during the second quarter of 2015 in Pakistan, compared with 7.5 million in the previous quarter of January-March. The Branchless Banking (BB) Newsletter released by the State Bank of Pakistan said the sharp growth in the number of accounts was mainly on the back of introducing biometric technology and SIM verification in account opening. During April-June 2015 quarter, around 47,902 biometric devices were installed for real-time account opening at agent locations. A total of 1.3 million accounts were opened during the quarter through the biometric verification system. This increase also resulted from massive opening of level zero accounts, which now constitute 87% of the total BB accounts. These accounts are basic mobile-wallet accounts with low know-your-customer requirements and small transaction limit. The SBP also said the people have started considering branchless banking as a key tool for satisfying their basic financial needs.

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