Must Read of the Week:
Pakistan is a country of focus for Banking Beyond Branches, and with good reason. The South Asian country has a population of 182 million and represents a key country in the world’s push towards financial inclusion. This week’s Must Read article shines a light on the state of financial inclusion in Pakistan and key areas of action.
While the article paints a picture in need of improvement, there is reason to believe progress is being made in Pakistan. The country is leading the way in South Asia regarding digital finance and branchless banking – with more adults owning an account than any other South Asian country. It is through digital finance where we think Pakistan can make crucial strides toward true financial inclusion. We have written before of the possible advances through branchless banking in Pakistan, but more needs to be done by all stakeholders.
For example, one of the key elements of financial inclusion is the country’s national payment system strategy. A comprehensive, detailed strategy serves to bolster financial inclusion efforts and drives the efficiencies of stakeholders within the National Payment System. In Rwanda, Enclude worked with the National Bank of Rwanda to develop their National Payment System Strategy with a focus on digitizing the Rwandan economy and grow to a middle-income country by 2020. Rwanda’s strategy outlines key steps to achieving their goals and measuring sticks for all stakeholders – Pakistan, and the financial inclusion of its population, would benefit from a similar approach.