SBP bars banks from charging internet and mobile banking services


KARACHI – The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has directed the banks to not charge their customers for availing minimum services through Internet banking (IB) and mobile banking (MB).

The SBP instructed the banks to start observing the policy so that digital means of working can be encouraged and manual processes can be left behind.

The central bank released a circular in which it stated that services such as “bill payments, funds transfer, beneficiary management, limit management, credit and debit card management, stop cheque payment” should be offered without asking for any kind of charges.

The circular also directed banks to issue payment cards to their new account holders and also to the old customers who do not have debit cards. It stated that it should be made mandatory unless the customer opts to not go for it. However, this service will not be accounted to customers who are illiterate or visually impaired.

The bank also instructed the local banks to start leveraging EMV cards to authenticate their customers instead of using paper tools and signatures for them. This 2-factor authentication process will allow banks to replace the conventional methods.

Apart from that, SBP also asked the banks to create a post for Chief Digital Officer in order to hasten the digitization process.