ESAF Brief: E-banking Challenges and Opportunities in the West Bank & Gaza
In most developed economies, consumers take for granted the ability to engage in banking transactions performed electronically, such as transferring money between accounts or checking balances by telephone or online, and paying for goods and services using credit and debit cards. In Palestine, however, the ability to securely use plastic rather than cash to safely and conveniently buy everything from groceries to airline tickets is far from the norm. Although access to bank accounts is widespread, a variety of technological, regulatory, cultural, and political barriers impede the growth of E-banking, including a restrictive legal framework, ATMs and other point-of-service services that are not interoperable, and insufficient information on the creditworthiness of potential customers.
In light of such challenges, the ESAF program, an Associate Award under the FIELD-Support LWA is exploring a package of near-term interventions focused on issues the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) and industry stakeholders have control over, and which can yield “quick wins” in order to spur further reform. This "ESAF Brief," part of the ESAF Knowledge Series, explores the challenges and opportunities in E-banking in Palestine.