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Dominant majority of Pakistanis (86%) agree that it is better to carry out monetary transactions on a face to face basis so as to be certain that the money has been received.

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According to a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan, 86% Pakistanis agreed with the following statement: ‘When paying for goods or services, it is better to do it face to face so as to be certain that the money has been received’. On the other hand, 14% disagreed with this statement. 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. Before starting any conversation on developing a methodology of increasing financial inclusivity in Pakistan, it is vital to be aware of the perceptions that the general public has with regards to financial matters. One such matter on which it is crucial to be aware of public opinion is regarding monetary transactions. This particular press release aims to find out the proportion of Pakistanis who feel that it is better to be physically present when carrying out monetary transactions as opposed to doing it in any virtual form, such as digital payment mechanisms. The empirical results from this press release will therefore serve to inform financial stakeholders in the country about the level of willingness of people to adopt other means, including digital ones such as mobile banking and credit cards, for carrying out their monetary transactions.

A nationally representative sample of men and women from across the four provinces was asked, “Please tell me if you rather agree or rather disagree with these statements? [When paying for goods or services, it is better to do it face-to-face so as to be certain that the money has been received]” In response to this question, 86% Pakistanis agreed with this statement whereas 14% respondents disagreed. Thus, empirical results from this question show Pakistanis to be a cautious people when it comes to carrying out monetary transactions. The fact that people want to be physically present so as to ensure that the transaction has taken place does not seem to bode well for services such as mobile banking, debit and credit cards.

A gender breakdown of this result also reveals a picture with not a significant gap between the two genders. 87% males felt that it was better to carry out monetary transactions on a face to face basis while the same response was given by 84% of the females. Meanwhile, 12% males disagreed with this statement while the same response was given by 16% of the females.

A rural/urban breakdown reveals that 86% of the respondents in urban areas and 85% in rural areas, when asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement that it is better to have a face to face transaction when paying for goods and services, agreed that is better to have it face to face. This negligible difference between the proportion of urban and rural respondents agreeing with this statement highlights an important aspect of the Pakistani society with regards to the handling of money. Despite there being a considerable disparity in the socio-economic development between the urban and rural areas of Pakistan, the proportion of urban respondents agreeing to this statement is still remarkably high. This seems to show that Pakistanis, regardless of their education or income level, still are averse to trusting anything other than their own selves when it comes to money and monetary transaction. Finally, 13% in the urban areas disagreed with this statement while the same answer was given by 15% of the respondents in rural areas.

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