State Bank of Pakistan on Friday organized a webinar on “Digital Banks – A New Era in Banking” to create awareness about the important development in regulatory ambit, which is “Licensing and Regulatory Framework for Digital Banks” issued by the Central Bank on January 03, 2022. The objective of the webinar was primarily to create awareness about the next generation of banks i.e., digital banks, and the potential they offer for financial inclusion in the country. It was also aimed at sharing the details of the digital banking framework amongst the market participants and prospective investors and addressing their queries. It was attended by prominent members of the banking community, FinTech’s, business fraternity, and Government agencies said SBP release on Friday. SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir, in his keynote address, highlighted the potential of digital financial services to become ubiquitous in the banking industry and its significance in terms of inclusion and innovation. Discussing the prospects of digital banks in Pakistan, he emphasized that one of the key goals of the State Bank of Pakistan was to promote inclusion, innovation, and modernization of the financial sector of Pakistan. He spoke of SBP’s expectations from digital banks in promoting financial inclusion by providing affordable financial services to unserved and underserved segments of society, alongside fostering a new set of customer experiences. Dr Reza Baqir highlighted how the digitization of financial services was picking up pace and was transforming the way banking was done for both individuals and businesses. He mentioned that Pakistan’s journey for digital financial services started in the early 2000s, and since then, several enabling regulatory initiatives were launched, notably, Branchless Banking Regulatory Framework, Electronic Money Institutions Regulations, Roshan Digital Account, RAAST, Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework, and Asaan Mobile Accounts, etc. He added that Licensing and Regulatory Framework for Digital Banks is another milestone towards digital transformation and a major step towards revolutionizing our banking services industry. While giving his welcome address, Arshad Mehmood Bhatti, Executive Director, Banking Policy and Regulation Group, informed the audience that SBP would grant up to five (05) licenses for digital banks, as SBP intends to bring digital banks with a strong value proposition, robust technological infrastructure, sufficient financial strength, technical expertise, and effective risk management culture.