SBP Empowers Pakistani Freelancers with Digital Account Solution

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has recently introduced a comprehensive framework to enhance convenience for freelancers in opening and operating bank accounts. In a notification issued on Monday, the central bank addressed the CEOs and presidents of all banks, highlighting the new guidelines.

The aim of this initiative is to streamline the banking process for freelancers, who play a significant role in the country’s economy. By implementing this framework, SBP hopes to provide freelancers with a more efficient and user-friendly banking experience.

Freelancers will be able to open an Exporters’ Special Foreign Currency Account (ESFCA), which is explained in the Foreign Exchange Manual, in order to keep the money they make from exports along with their main PKR account. They can do this in person or online. This will allow them to keep their earnings from exporting.

A new Framework for Freelancers has been implemented, which makes it far simpler for freelancers to register bank accounts and enables them to keep a greater portion of their earnings in their FCY accounts.

The SBP has decided to increase the limit from 35% to 50% of their export proceeds in the ESFCAs. This decision aims to provide a boost to the IT export sector and facilitate the growth of IT businesses in the country. It has been announced that all newly opened Freelancer Digital Accounts (FDA) will now be considered to have been opened under the new framework. This decision is set to have significant implications for freelancers and digital account holders alike.

Freelancers will now have the option to open bank accounts through both digital and physical channels, with minimal documentation requirements. This new initiative aims to provide greater convenience and flexibility to individuals working in the freelance industry. Freelancers are allowed to keep whichever amount is larger, between fifty percent of their export revenues and five thousand US dollars per month, in their ESFCAs. They are also permitted to make all payments from these accounts without first obtaining approval from the SBP or banks.

All banks are instructed to assist in prospective freelancers’ onboarding by using the new framework. When these instructions are put into action, other instructions about the Freelancer Digital Account (FDA) that were published in the SBP’s Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework will no longer be useful.

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