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33% of the general public in Pakistan has never heard the word ATM.

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According to a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan, 30% Pakistanis claim to have heard and understood the meaning of the term ‘ATM’ whereas 33% said that they have never heard the word. These results are a part of the nationwide Access to Finance Study conducted by the State Bank of Pakistan in 2015 with the intent of determining the degree of financial inclusiveness of the Pakistani public

This press release is part of a special series that aim to foster an empirical understanding of financial inclusion in Pakistan and that hope to create a collaborative network of individuals working on the topic. This press release focuses on empirically determining the proportion of Pakistanis who are aware of the term ‘ATM’. ATM, the shorthand for Automated Teller Machine, is basically a cash machine that enables people to perform monetary transactions without having to go the bank itself. In order to use an ATM, the customer has a personal ATM card with the user’s personal information digitally inscribed onto the card. ATMs have revolutionized banking by greatly facilitating bank account holders by saving up a lot of their time as well as making money more liquid.

A nationally representative sample of men and women from across the four provinces was asked, “There are many word used in Pakistan that apply to financial services. Please tell me if you have heard the following word: ATM.” In response to this question, 30% Pakistanis said that they have heard of this word and understand its meaning. On the other hand, 37% said that they have heard the word but do not understand its meaning while 33% also said that they have never heard of the word. Thus, empirical results show that Interest is a concept that most Pakistanis are not exactly familiar with seeing as a combined 70% of the Pakistani public is still either not aware of ATMs or do not understand what an ATM means.

A gender breakdown of this result also reveals a picture with a distinguishable gap between the two genders. 34% males said that they have heard and understand the meaning of the word ‘ATM’ while the same response is given by 25% of the females. Meanwhile, 38% males said that they have heard of the word ‘ATM’ but are unclear on its meaning while the same response was given by 36% of the females. 28% males and 38% females stated that they had never heard of the term ‘ATM’.

A rural/urban breakdown reveals that 47% of the respondents in urban areas and 21% in rural areas have heard and understand the meaning of the word ‘ATM’. With a considerable difference of 26%, this shows that there is a slightly greater awareness of ATMs in urban areas as opposed to rural areas. This difference may also be seen as a manifestation of the considerable disparity in the socio-economic development between the urban and rural areas of Pakistan. Finally, 34% in the urban areas said that they have heard the word but do not understand its meaning while the same answer was given by 39% of the respondents in rural areas. However, only 19% respondents in urban areas had never heard of ATMs as opposed to 40% rural respondents.

According to the provincial breakdown, financial literacy regarding ATMs in Pakistan is generally low. 30% of the respondents in Punjab, 40% in Sindh, 18% in KPK and 14% in Baluchistan said that they have heard of the word ‘ATM’ and understand its meaning. However, 31% of the respondents in Punjab, 34% in Sindh, 27% in KPK and 60% in Baluchistan have never heard of the word ATM. Meanwhile, 39% respondents in Punjab, 26% in Sindh, 54% in KPK and 26% in Baluchistan have heard of ATMs but are not unaware of the meaning and purpose of an ATM.

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