The economic reforms introduced by the Pakistani government during the review period (2009-2013) had a positive impact on the country’s GDP growth rate. This rate increased from 2.8% in 2009 to 6.1% in 2013; a trend that is expected to continue over the forecast period (2014-2018). The improved economic conditions are expected to positively impact the country’s cards and payments industry.
Pakistani payment cards (including debit and credit cards) registered a positive growth during the review period, recording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.93%, and increasing from 9.2 million cards in circulation in 2009 to 23.1 million by the end of 2013. In terms of transaction value, payment cards valued PKR1.9 trillion (US$18.8 billion) in 2013, after registering a review-period CAGR of 24.37%.
With the development of alternative delivery channels, the launch of biometric ATMs and the availability of fund transfer facilities online and at ATM terminals, banks are able to reach a large volume of the population. Furthermore, the improvement in banking infrastructure, the development of the new products, government initiatives and stable economic conditions are all factors which led to the growth of payment cards.
While cash remains the most popular payment format among Pakistani consumers, they are gradually making use of payment cards for payments for purchases and utility bill payments. Rising consumer awareness of the benefits of payment cards, government initiatives and the introduction of innovative products and marketing campaigns by card issuers are expected to drive consumers towards card-based payments. Banks are implementing various marketing strategies to offer benefits to cardholders, in the form of discounts and rewards points on card use. The government’s initiative to issue Watan Cards for the disbursement of funds to flood victims also contributed to the growth of payment cards. Growth in retail outlets and e-commerce...