Paper

The Power of Mobile to Accelerate Digital Transformation in Pakistan

A look at the increasingly important role of mobile technology in digital financial services

A major reason for the low access to financial services in Pakistan has been the cost and time spent by low-income people travelling to access bank branches to carry out their small value transactions. Women in rural and remote areas face additional constraints around mobility, largely for cultural reasons. Digital technology is, however, changing the financial inclusion landscape in Pakistan, by enabling unbanked/underbanked individuals around the country to access financial services through digital platforms. Mobile technology is an enabler of digital financial services (DFS) in Pakistan. It plays a crucial role in deepening financial inclusion, particularly in areas where banks have limited reach due to high overhead costs of physical expansion, and simplifying commercial transactions and remittances between individuals and organizations.

In recognition of the impact of digital technologies, the government’s digital policy aims to transform Pakistan into a knowledge-based economy, while the planned National Digital Transformation Initiative aims to encourage a more consistent approach to the use of digital technologies to deliver good governance. This report discusses:

  • Pakistan government socioeconomic aspirations in context.
  • Digital transformation in Pakistan and the role of mobile penetration in serving the unbanked using mobile-enabled DFS.
  • Mobile technology contribution to social and economic progress in Pakistan.
  • Opportunities ahead to accelerate the impact of mobile-enabled digital transformation on socioeconomic progress.