Pakistan's financial industry is a "promising ground for experimentation", but must be able to meet increasingly complex banking needs if it is to flourish, the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan has said.
Speaking at the Deutsche Bank-sponsored Global Transaction Banking Seminar, Dr Shamshad Akhtar said that after years of working on a largely cash and paper-based system of banking, the country's financial sector was now ready to introduce electronic payment methods.
This would involve encouraging banks to invest in new technology and utilize tools such as the internet to bring Pakistani banking into the 21st century, she said.
Pakistan has seen rapid growth in the banking industry over recent years, with the county's banking assets now worth an estimated $60 billion.
As with the rest of the Asia economies, relative wealth increases among the population and a burgeoning middle-class has brought greater demand for banking facilities and investors and business are also looking for more supportive financial services, with a demand for financing solutions, hedge funds, and asset-based securities.
However, Dr Akhtar believes that if Pakistan is to catch up with its Asian neighbours India and China in terms of economic development, then investment in new banking technology will be vital.