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Growing network of ATM rejuvenated the banking industry

Published on 22nd Aug, Edition 34-35, 2016

 

During the second quarter of current fiscal year, the network of ATMs continued to grow reaching from 10,099 to 10,736 and additionally 5,689 POS machines were added to the network, showing a growth of 12.82 percent compared to first quarter of fiscal year 2016. Number of cards, issued by the banks, increased by 16.27 percent and it reached a total of 33 million by the end of the quarter.

This increase is mainly caused by the addition of MFB-issued 3.7 million ATM-only cards in payment system statistics in this period. During the current quarter, registered users of Internet, mobile and call centre banking showed a growth of 3.94 percent, reaching 22 million at the end of second quarter of this fiscal year.

The volume of Real Time Online Banking (RTOB) transactions rose from 29.5 million to 32.7 million whereas the value increased by 13.5 percent i.e. Rs7.2 trillion to Rs8.2 trillion caused by increase in real time cash withdrawals and deposits and inclusion of Microfinance Banks (MFBs) data in payment system statistics. Non-financial transactions declined by 4.34 percent during this period.

The operations of commercial banks are seeing continuous expansion throughout the country as their Automated Teller Machines (ATM) network increased to 9,018 by the end of December 2014 for meeting increased cash transaction demand of customers.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) statistics said that ATMs are the most used means in the electronic channel of banking sector, which constitutes 64.3 percent share in the overall e-banking sector in Pakistan. It is because of the rise in demand with increasing awareness of advantages of self-banking.

The cost of an ATM has gone down to $7000 from $40,000 in the last three years. The decreasing cost of the ATMs has also pushed banks to enhance their networks in order to provide services to their customers and make margins. The ATMs cost reduced drastically to $7,000 from $40,000 per unit compared to three years ago. However, the operating costs of ATMs are quite high in Pakistan as 24/7 services are required due to unstable electricity and internet.

There are advanced ATMs being deployed by the banks, which have features like cardless transactions (through biometric or thumb prints identifications).

In Pakistan, banks are increasingly working on the deployment of energy-efficient and solar-powered ATMs as well. It is unfortunate that the maintenance standards of various commercial banks are poor as large numbers of ATMs are reported to be out-of-services or out-of-cash even in the commercial hubs of major cities.

Rise of plastic money

Plastic cards increased to 26 million in Pakistan. The use of plastic money is growing in Pakistan at a steady pace. There have been a total of 26 million plastic cards issued by various banks to their customers. There are over 23.7 million debit cards with 0.9 million being ATM only cards and 1.3 million being credit cards. The number of debit and ATMs cards has increased after the introduction of plastic money by microfinance banks owned by different cellular operators.

Beneficiaries of various schemes such as Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) and IDPs were also provided ATMs cards to withdraw money on their own and that has bumped up numbers too.

UBL, NADRA Accord

United Bank Limited (UBL), Pakistan’s Best Bank 2016 crossed yet another milestone. The bank’s ATM network has grown to a landmark 1,000 active ATMs deployed nation-wide. With their round the clock availability and geographical spread in more than 100 cities, UBL ATMs have earned customer confidence.

This is reflected in the increasing number of UBL and non-UBL card holder transactions. With a large number of services offered beyond cash withdrawals, ATM users can also make bill payments seamlessly and carry out fund transfers through state-of-the-art technology.

In pursuit of customer service excellence, UBL ensures that its ATM network fulfils the needs of its diverse audience nation-wide. With near perfect uptime, UBL ATMs are recognised amongst the best in the industry.

United Bank Ltd (UBL) and NADRA Technologies Limited (NTL) recently entered into a formal agreement for the provision of bio-metric based transaction authentication services on the Bank’s ATM network.

 

With the signing of this agreement, UBL has become the first Bank in the industry to be officially connected with NADRA to facilitate customers to access their accounts and conduct ‘card-less’ transactions on ATMs. With its rapidly increasing digital footprint, UBL has now become the largest bio-enabled ATM network provider in the industry offering this unique service in conjunction with NADRA.

Remaining true to UBL’s ethos of customer-centricity and legacy of innovation, UBL is now the first amongst its peers to join hands with NADRA to extend added convenience and security to its customers and will continue to lead the way in the digital space.

NADRA is now more so increasingly focusing towards the transformation paradigm, where it can through its technical expertise act as a catalyst in ushering a new era of safety, security and convenience at multiple touch points

The United Bank Limited (UBL) ATM network has grown to a landmark 1,000 active ATMs deployed nation-wide.

With their round the clock availability and geographical spread in more than 100 cities, UBL ATMs have earned customer confidence. This was reflected in the increasing number of UBL and non-UBL card holder transactions.

In pursuit of customer service excellence, UBL ensures that its ATM network fulfils the needs of its diverse audience nationwide. In pursuit of customer service excellence, UBL ensures that its ATM network fulfils the needs of its diverse audience nationwide.

NBP’s Facility

National Bank of Pakistan ensures round the clock ATM services during Eid holidays. According to the bank, the news regarding the shortage of cash at main branches and ATMs were false. The customers of the bank were able to transact a total of Rs79.6 crores from NBP’s widespread ATM network in the in 24 hours during Eid holidays. Management of NBP also stated that all ATMs were online and within 24 hours, the system had seen a total of 177,789 transactions, out of which 79,546 were cash-based transactions.In the spirit of goodwill, NBP management at all bank branches also arranged for Iftar of the pensioners who came in to receive their pensions. The National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) has made special arrangements to ensure smooth ATM services to facilitate its valued customers during Eid-ul-Fitr holidays across the country.

In the light of instructions issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the NBP like other banks, has ensured smooth round-the-clock ATM services during Eid holidays. The bank had deployed special monitoring teams for the smooth functioning of ATMs to facilitate its clients during holidays.

Currently, more than 500 ATMs were installed at various locations across the country and further ATM expansions projects were also in the pipeline.

Besides the NBP has around 1350 Online Branches which can issue ATM cards and their cardholders can perform ATM transactions from NBP as well as other banks’ ATMs.

The NBP ATMs were mostly installed in up-country areas, and ATM network was spread towards the length and breadth of the country (including small cities, towns, remote areas and army garrisons). The Bank has also deployed backup power arrangements like UPS/Generators, etc. to decrease the downtime of ATMs.

It is pertinent to state here that due to the continuous efforts and measures by the Bank the downtime of NBP’s ATMs is declining gradually and the number of transactions is continuously increasing. Furthermore, the senior management of NBP reiterates the commitment to ensure uninterrupted services through NBP ATMs.

To provide 24/7 services through ATMs especially during Eid and Public Holidays, National Bank of Pakistan has devised the efficient mechanism for monitoring ATMs and mobilizing adequate resources for ATMs to timely address issues such as casing, hardware, connectivity and power related issues in ATMs. It is significant to state here that NBP has extended support agreement with its vendors providing ATM equipment maintenance which covers extended hours, weekend and public holidays’ support.

HBL record

Pakistan’s largest banking institution Habib Bank Limited (HBL) set the record of establishing 1000 ATM’s across the country. It pioneers in multiple product categories and has rejuvenated the banking industry with unique offering, value-added services and bringing more customers to the brand.

With a host of services offered beyond cash withdrawals, ATM users can also make bill payments seamlessly and carry out fund transfers through state-of-the-art technology.

MCB’s more capacity

MCB has ordered another 200 Wincor Nixdorf ProCash 280 ATMs. MCB Bank Ltd is one of Pakistan’s largest banks with 1,208 branches across the country and currently running an ATM network of 800 ATMs.

This new order will bring the total number of Wincor Nixdorf ATMs in MCB to around 750. It is also pertinent to note that MCB monitors its ATMs entire fleet using ProView. This allows the bank to have a leading position amongst retail banks in Pakistan. Wincor Nixdorf was selected for providing high quality ATMs and field engineering services consistently for more than 10 years to MCB Bank in Pakistan. This is another success for ProCash 280 – a machine custom designed by Wincor Nixdorf for the sub-continent.

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