Noman Azhar, Executive Vice President and Head of branchless banking and Digital Implementation Department, JS Bank, discoursed the impact of lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic over the banking sector in Pakistan.
In the answer to a question regarding the impact and challenges of the lockdown on the banks due to COVID-19, he said, impact of Coronavirus is unprecedented, as it did not only adversely affected the banking sector in our country but every other sector beside any region or nationality.
Nevertheless, the banking sector has suffered great challenges. We are not actually identified as such, but we are also part of the frontline workers in this crisis. While, a lot of industries have either stopped working or started working from home, our branches since the pandemic has been open and serving customers.
JS Bank is serving our customers diligently because obviously, the cash has to flow and the economy has to run. To facilitate our economy, we are standing on the frontline with the law-enforcing agencies and with the health. Where these workers are playing a very important role, the bankers are also risking their lives to keep the branches open.
He further added that, to combat COVID-19, we have introduced much facilitation through digital means to the banking sector, For example, for the Ehsaas Kafalat program launched by the Prime Minister, we have a branchless banking network called, JCash, which has almost 30,000 agent networks across Pakistan.
We have provided all our agents with necessary protective gear to ensure that they safely disperse this cash amongst the deserving needy people. So, while these people were coming to our agent locations to give their biometrics, we – along with other partnering – banks facilitated these beneficiaries. We have dispersed a huge sum of money under this Kafalat program while taking care of all precautionary measures to stop this pandemic.