Monday, 28 May 2012

Mobile banking in Pakistan

For years now, a lot of banks have cooperated with the mobile network operators (MNOs) to penetrate banking into the unbanked areas in Pakistan. The initiatives have all been led by the big five banks and the results have been mixed success. HBL's partnership with UFone and subsequent Mr. Bean marketing campaigns have been above the average response but other campaigns have not made a stir in the market. 

In such times, Standard Chartered bank's mobile portal is a breakthrough move. The bank, that already has an excellent online banking portal, has created a light-weight version of the same and rolled it out as the mBank. Though the online portal was easily accessible through mobile devices, the creation of this portal utilises data more efficiently by cutting down on unwanted graphics (which consume more data and hence are costlier). The portal does not boast of too many innovations - it is a simple stripped down version of the online portal offering basic services like paying phone bills, mobile credit and transferring funds to pre-added payee's. At the same time, the portal also offers saving icons for Nokia and Blackberry users. A very good start, one must say, for the future of mobile banking in Pakistan.

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