SME Research (3)


To identify additional financial challenges facing SMEs in Pakistan.

Early Findings

Low Digital Payment Penetration

  • In Pakistan, cash is still the predominant mode of payment for goods and services purchased. Only 21 percent of adults in the country operate a banking account or utilize a digital payment mechanism. According to a recent article by Daily Times, most merchants are still unable to accept digital payments, and most wages are still being paid in cash.
  • According to the State Bank of Pakistan, a total of 1,094 merchants accepted digital payments by in 2018.
  • Another major barrier to mass acceptance of digital payment revolves around unsatisfactory practices and the lack of a refund option or offering by Pakistani merchants. Concerns that a product might not be delivered or might be different in nature or quality from the items mentioned online is still high among consumers in Pakistan.
  • However, the Pakistani government is taking action toward increasing digital access points available to Pakistanis. The government plans to install an additional one million digital access points over the next three years to facilitate the country's ongoing cashless policy initiative.

Proposed next steps:

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