SBP enables Pakistanis to open bank accounts through digital channels

07:15 PM | 16 Sep, 2021
SBP enables Pakistanis to open bank accounts through digital channels
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KARACHI – The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has launched a comprehensive ‘Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework’, which will facilitate banks and Microfinance Banks (MFBs) to conveniently and remotely open bank accounts of resident Pakistanis by using digital channels including websites/portal, mobile applications, digital kiosks etc.

SBP in a statement said that the demand from bank and customers for digital financial transactions have increased manifold due to rapid growth in adoption of electronic banking channels, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Under this framework, account opening process has become swift and simplified while ensuring compliance with the applicable regulatory requirements and international standards,” read the statement.

While typically accounts can be opened as either Savings or Current Account, the framework identifies four categories on the basis of functional limits such as deposit or withdrawal limits, fund transfer limits etc and the documents required for opening an account. These categories include ‘Asaan Digital Account’; ‘Asaan Digital Remittance Account’; ‘Freelancer Digital Account’; and the ‘Digital Account.’

The first category is the easiest to open requiring very basic information and the least number of documents albeit with some limits on functionality. The last category, i.e. Digital Account is without any functional restriction but needs more information for account opening.

SBP has instructed banks under this framework to ensure that decision to open or decline these accounts do not take more than two working days from the day of completion of all the requirements while ensuring availability of customer support services 24/7 for customer facilitation.

Moreover, banks/ MFBs will also be required to provide a tracking number to the applicant for following up on the status updates.

SBP has advised the banking industry to implement this framework by December 31, 2021. 

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