The State Bank of Pakistan has enabled the citizens to open their online bank accounts through websites/portals, mobile applications, digital kiosks etc. The hustle of carrying a huge set of documents to the banks to open an account is not required anymore. The central bank is optimistic that this initiative will help promote the digitalisation of the banking services in the country apart from achieving the financial inclusion objectives.

Customers Digital Onboarding Framework

While introducing a new framework the SBP said; “Based on the success of the Roshan Digital Account framework, the SBP has now devised 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.”

Under this framework, the account opening process has become quick and simplified while ensuring compliance with the regulatory laws and international principles. Additionally, the online accounts will also facilitate people from different walks of life such as; freelancers, self-employed or unemployed women, and recipients of remittances from abroad to open a bank account with minimum document requirements.

Read more: SBP Permits Local Businesses to Utilize Services of Digital Media Companies for up to $400,000 per Year

Different categories of opening Online Bank Accounts

Conventionally, people can open their accounts in either Savings or Current Account category. However, the recent framework identifies four categories based on functional limits such as deposit or withdrawal limits, fund transfer limits, the documents required for opening an account, etc. The new framework will include four account categories; ‘Asian Digital Account’, ‘Asian Digital Remittance Account’, ‘Freelancer Digital Account’ and ‘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 needs more information for account opening. It is recommended that a customer can start with the basic account and can upgrade over time to a higher level of account type when needed.

The SBP has instructed banks under this framework to ensure that decisions 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 24/7 customer support services to facilitate customers. The banking industry is advised to implement this framework by December 31, 2021.

Source: ARY News 


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