The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Wednesday that resident Pakistanis can now open bank accounts using digital means, according to a statement.
The growing use of e-banking channels, particularly in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, has raised demand from banks and clients for digital financial transactions, according to the central bank.
In this respect, the SBP has also asked Pakistan’s banking industry to have this system in place by December 31, 2021. It also expressed confidence in the initiative’s success, stating that it will aid in the digitization of banking services in the country as well as the achievement of financial inclusion goals.
“By integrating women into the financial system, the framework would also give a tool to the sector and an impetus to SBP’s program of Banking on Equality,” it said.
“Overall, the framework provides a convenient way for all segments of society to open bank accounts; specially, it enables freelancers, self-employed or unemployed women, and recipients of remittances from abroad to open bank accounts digitally with minimal documentation requirements,” SBP added.
In a previous statement, the SBP stated, “Based on the success of the Roshan Digital Account structure, the SBP has now developed a detailed ‘Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework’, which will enable banks and Microfinance Banks (MFBs) to comfortably and remotely open bank accounts of resident Pakistanis through digital channels such as websites/portals, mobile applications, digital kiosks.”
This program will also aid in the achievement of SBP’s financial inclusion goals by integrating previously excluded sectors of society into the formal banking system. The framework was prepared following thorough engagement with stakeholders, in order to receive input from industry experts and to solve any problems that banks/MFBs may experience during the implementation of this system.
While accounts are generally created as either Savings or Current, the framework classifies them into four categories based on functional limits such as deposit or withdrawal limits, money transfer limits, and so on, as well as the documents necessary to open an account.