The State Bank of Pakistan has launched a new initiative, Asaan Mobile Account (AMA), as part of its National Financial Inclusion Strategy. This initiative aims to promote branchless banking by implementing ease in opening accounts remotely.
Why it matters: Under this initiative, users will open and operate their bank accounts through USSD channels. No internet required. No need to visit a branch.
In other words, anyone with a feature phone will be able to access financial services by dialing a code. No smartphone is required.
Tell me more: This initiative has been developed through collaboration between SBP, PTA, NADRA, 13 branchless banking providers, and all cellular mobile operators, as well as VRG, a fintech company.
VRG is the only company licensed by both PTA and SBP. More than 1 million people opened their AMA account during its extended pilot phase.
It now has approval for a commercial launch.
How it works: Any Pakistani can open a digital bank account through AMA as long as they have a valid CNIC. They have to dial the code (*2262#) to make transactions. No internet required.
AMA allows you to:
- transfer funds to any Pakistani bank account from your phone
- pay mobile top-up and utility bill payments
- inquire the balance of funds in your account
- change your bank account PIN code securely
- obtain a statement of account activity
- close your account from your phone
- link your existing branchless banking account
Zoom Out: AMA will bring 50 million Pakistanis under the banking system and is part of the government’s Digital Pakistan initiative.
The government can also use this initiative to disburse money to 15 million beneficiaries for its Ehsaas Program.
Last but not least. Asaan Mobile Account will also make banking accessible for women who usually have to face issues related to mobility and culture.