Another development occurs as Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has finalized the prospect of hiring a consultancy firm/consultant to work on the study of Mobile Financial Services in Pakistan which will include technical, legal, and financial departs, etc.
The vision of the Authority is to create a fair regulatory regime to promote investment, encourage competition, protect consumer interest and ensure high quality Information & Communication Technology (ICT) services. Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MoIT&T) issued a “Policy Directive to Support Technical Implementation of Mobile Banking including Mobile Money Transfers and Remittances” on 20th May 2008, wherein PTA was required to implement a framework for the telecommunication sector development for reaching out with m-banking services through regulations to be framed by PTA as per details provided in the aforesaid directive.
The regulations are required to govern the technical implementation of m-banking systems, through the mobile infrastructure of cellular operators facilitating transfers and remittances etc. based on the general and technical parameters set out in the directive.
As per the instructions released by the PTA, it states that the scope of the work shall include the following list of tasks:
Thorough evaluation/ assessment of existing regulatory Frameworks, vis-a-vis scope of “MFS” in accordance with provisions of Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act, 1996 and the Mobile Cellular License. Further, it also involves the study of relevant regulations and guidelines issued by State Bank of Pakistan. Considering the above the Consultant shall ascertain the followings:
a) Whether existing regulatory frameworks including Regulation of Technical implementation of Mobile Banking 2016 provides sufficient the basis for regulating MFS and revenue earned by CMOs?
b) Whether the mandate of PTA and State Bank of Pakistan in terms of MFS is distinct or is there any overlap?
c) Other aspects related to MFS regarding existing regulatory practices.
To review international and regional best practices in the application of regulatory requirements on MFS revenue earned by CMOs. Further, the following will also be considered:
a) Evaluation of different MFS models concerning regulatory requirements/compliances.
b) International best regulatory practices for MFS including identification/classification of revenues for calculations of regulatory dues/fees/charges etc, by telecom and banking regulators.
c) GAP analysis with respect to current regulatory frameworks and international best practices.
To review existing business and technical MFS models being implemented by CMOs taking into account the followings;
a) Agreements between Financial Institutions and CMOs
b) Branchless banking arrangements
c) Standalone arrangements of banks and applicability/relevancy with MFS
The Consultant shall carry out an in-depth analysis of the following:
a) Financial statements of banks
b) Financial statements of corresponding CMOs including projections of contribution by MFS in future revenue streams.
c) Costing (i.e. direct and indirect costs incurred for the telecom infrastructure and related overheads) and revenue/pricing of MFS for telecom operators and financial institutions.
a) Upon completion of tasks 1 to 4, the consultant shall identify areas requiring review or modification in prevailing Telecom regulations or any related regulations.
b) Accordingly the Consultant shall devise recommendations encompassing the way forward including the application of Annual Regulatory Dues.
For completion of the above tasks, the Consultant will be required to follow the below-mentioned methodology:
a) Meeting with stakeholders to gather market information, challenges, and potential regulatory framework.
b) Preparation of the questionnaire including but not limited to potential regulatory framework’s highlights, impact on the local market, impact on the existing licensing, etc. The consultant will prepare a report for this purpose and give a presentation to the Authority before finalizing the report.
c) Consultant may complete his exercise in 65 days, period.