Islamabad: According to a recent study conducted by Telenor Group and Boston Consulting Group, wider access to mobile financial services in Pakistan could lead to the creation of 1 million new jobs by 2020. An estimated US$2 billion could be added annually to government revenues, helping raise Pakistan’s GDP growth by 3%.
To discuss these prospects, a seminar titled ‘Shaping our financial future – Socio-Economic Impact of Mobile Financial Services’ was arranged under the aegis of easypaisa. Participants included representatives from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, State Bank of Pakistan, Telenor Pakistan, Tameer Microfinance Bank, senior government officials, development specialists and the media.
Christian Albech, CEO, Telenor Pakistan, spoke about the benefits of mobile financial services on individuals and society in Pakistan. “The study shows that mobile financial services can help families and businesses to respond in a better way to expense shocks, and can have positive effects on entrepreneurship. They can help improve children’s chances of completing primary school. Women’s access to funds can be bettered, with positive effects on child education and health. Mobile financial services can prove invaluable in supporting Pakistan’s social development goals.”
Nadeem Hussain, President and CEO Tameer Microfinance Bank, in his comments spoke about the positive impact of mobile financial services on the economy. He said: “The study shows that mobile financial services can help create new jobs and boost government revenues. GDP growth can be stimulated by increased access to credit, which prompts new business creation, and by formal remittances and increased savings. Mobile financial services can facilitate public services by providing e-government options and help reduce costs of financial transactions such as the disbursement of aid.”
According to the study, given a supportive environment, the percentage of Pakistan’s adult population using mobile financial services could go up from the current 2% to 35% by 2020 resulting in higher savings, creation of formal credit channels, and improved insurance usage.