The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has waived off the fees on various internet and mobile banking services for consumers.
The announcement was made by the central bank on Twitter.
In order to promote digitization in the banking sector and encourage the use of digital channels, the State Bank of Pakistan has directed all banks to withdraw annual charges and levy on activation, subscription, etc.
“To encourage the use of the internet and mobile banking services by their customers, banks will not levy any activation, subscription or annual charges on their customers for using such services,” read a statement issued by the central bank.
The SBP stressed that the development was geared towards facilitating customers in conducting digital payments.
“The digitization of the entire payment process is hindered if the customers can make payments to only those billers that are registered with their own bank. Hence, in order to facilitate the customers, the banks have been advised to make necessary arrangements to ensure that their customers can make online payments to maximum number of billers,” the central bank said.
Banks will now issue debit cards to all the new bank account holders and customers who have not previously opted for debit cards unless they opt not to receive any payment card. However, this requirement will not be applicable to customers that are illiterate, are photo account holders, or are visually impaired.
To replace the manual authentication process, the banks/microfinance banks have been permitted to authenticate their customers at their branch counters using chip-and-pin cards and 2-factor authentication.
The banking regulator removed charges on the use of mobile and internet banking for limited services earlier in 2020 to promote the use of digital banking as the alternate channel for customers to avoid branches visit as the preventive measures from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The use of digital banking increased phenomenally subsequently among the customers as the central bank stepped up to permanently withdraw the charges and levies to encourage the advanced use of banking services in the country.