Branchless Banking in Pakistan: Opportunities and Challenges
Branchless Banking (BB) is an emerging financial segment also known as “banking beyond branches”. Branchless banking has viable opportunities for old as well as new entrants in technology based businesses. The strategic alliances and integrations with banks, mobile network operators (MNO’s), agents, and infinite retail-outlets have the opportunity to maximize their profitability. New and emerging business opportunities always have challenges. Accordingly, BB also faces the challenges such as lack of trust, security, technology, e-readiness, regulatory norms, proper agent checking for implementation of AML (Anti Money Laundering), and KYC (Know Your Customer). The paper examines Strengths Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of BB and recommends some strategies to overcome the identified challenges and make the avenue more profitable specifically in Pakistan. Despite enormous challenges, BB has many potential opportunities and scope to boost up the economy by improving employment opportunities and foreign investments in branchless banking infrastructure in the country.