KARACHI: Seldom before home remittances have been vitally important for emerging economies like Pakistan as they are today. With immense pressure on sustaining and improving our foreign currency reserves, in the backdrop of struggling exports, home remittances has the potential to fill in the critical gap.
“NBP has experienced a growth in its Home Remittance’s market share despite a reduction in home remittances by 3.08percent in FY2017”, said S H Irtiza Kazmi, Group Head – Global Home Remittances at NBP. This turnaround has been made possible by the keen interest that the NBP management has shown in improving the overall business for the bank.
Continuous efforts have been made by NBP to provide superior services to its remittance customers through its extensive online branch network of more than 1,400 branches and 1100 ATMs, new alliances with international money sending businesses (MSBs) and through focused marketing of its products both in the local as well as international markets. Home remittances have been one of the major factors sustaining the economy over the past several years. Special focus by the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) through Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI) has helped increase the remittances to Pakistan through legal channels from USD11.20 billion in 2011 to USD19.30 billion in 2017.
Remittances volume from Australia to NBP increased by 150percent+ during June 2017 alone. This was the result of one of several marketing campaigns that NBP launched during Apr-Jun quarter. One of the marketing campaigns with a leading MSB in GCC (including KSA and UAE) resulted in volume growth of 16percent month-on-month. Yet another marketing campaign with a leading bank in KSA showed volume increase of 17percent. Several similar campaigns are also planned to be launched in the second half of 2017.
NBP is also working closely with the Ministry of Overseas Employment and HR development and Pakistani embassies/consulates across the globe to educate the existing and future expatriates regarding NBP’s remittance services. NBP has taken a lead in promoting legal channels to send remittances to Pakistan and discouraging Hundi/Hawala which are the key factors hampering the growth of formal remittance business in Pakistan through legal/banking channels.
Introduction of Foree Remittance Account, an account designed especially for the remittance customers by National Bank is another step towards promoting financial inclusion. It is the most convenient way to receive remittances by beneficiaries in Pakistan getting free SMS alerts. The Foree Remittance Account launched in 2014, has seen a stable growth in the deposit base for the bank while providing banking services to the unbanked population. With SBP’s vision to increase the ATM penetration, NBP Foree Remittance Account holders have the facility to withdraw cash from any linked ATM across Pakistan.
It is NBP’s vision to provide unmatched services to its remittance customers through digital platform integration. NBP is also moving towards creating digital disruption in the existing remittance market by introducing technologically advanced products to its customers. This will eliminate the need to visit a branch to collect remittances or even to visit an ATM hence offering a one window solution for various banking needs.
NBP, under the leadership of a forward-looking management is striving with renewed vigour and fervour to provide seamless banking services to all its customers. Improving our services is the number one priority and we will leave no stone unturned to achieve new heights in our service standards. We are committed to live by our slogan of being The Nation’s Bank.