|HBL signing ceremony of branchless banking|
Habib Bank Ltd. (HBL), the largest branch network with more than 1450 branches nationawide and presence in more than 25 countries around the globe, ready to move into the branchless banking in Pakistan with the collaboration of Ufone, Sybase 365, and AbacusConsulting by 2012.
HBL sources suggests that they have invested millions of rupees in the pipeline to step into branchless banking in Pakistan, which will create healthy competition among the other existing operators of branchless banking in Pakistan. Currently EasyPaisa, joint venture of Telenor Pakistan and Tameer Bank; UBL Omni, a venture of United Bank Ltd. (UBL); NADRA's E-Sahaulat, a joint venture of Mobilink and NADRA are working in the industry. Moreover, MCB Bank Ltd. with the collaboration of Nokia and Bank Al-Falah with collaboration of Warid got the liscence of branchless banking from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), which will further make market more tougher.
Ufone, one of the leading cellular operator of the country, will facilitate HBL by providing the SMS service and other mobile related services pertaining to the branchlike banking at initial stage. HBL will take other mobile operators of the country i.e. Mobilink, Telenor, Warid, Zong, Vfone, Wordcall, etc. on board by the passage of time.
According to the SBP reports branchless banking enjoyed the impressive growth of more than 51% in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2012 as compared to the first of quarter of fiscal year of 2011.
HBL claims that its branchless banking will provide much more than what current players are offering. HBL through its distinguished service will cover the service of paying taxi fare, gas station charges, airline fare charges and other related services with the mobile banking.
Account opening, cash deposit, cash withdrawals, bill payments, mobile payment vouchers are the services provided by the current player of the industry namely EasyPaisa and UBL Omni.
In last, we can safely say HBL's move into the branch banking will set new benchmarks in the branchless banking, which will ultimately lead to the healthy competition among the players.