State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is now contemplating to allow people to open accounts at banks without visiting the branches in person. The interested candidate can open the digital account through digital mediums such as the internet and mobile banking applications.
As per the SBP Governor, Dr. Reza Baqir, “Digital account opening…is the way forward. We have a plan to introduce this facility domestically and to allow digital onboarding.” According to Governor, the community was suffering through problems in opening new bank accounts, specifically some housewives who had registered complaints as bankers inquired them about their source of income or their husband’s source of income to open an account.
With this initiative, now women will be able to open their bank accounts easily. Recently, Pakistan has allowed overseas Pakistanis to open their bank accounts without visiting the branches and embassies in their respective residing countries.
The SBP Governor further emphasized that we are planning to introduce this facility locally and to enable digital onboarding. He further added, “materially help with the account opening of housewives and more generally allow lending and credit to reach women as well.”
This initiation would allow women to conduct their transactions and dealings related to banks easily and using the data of women, SBP would be able to formulate better policies for women. He added that women were offered concessional financing through the central bank. “The concessional financing offers women to get loans of up to Rs5 million at 5% interest rate. There is a 60% risk coverage being provided to banks. This means the traditional issues of (submitting) collateral (for loan acquisition) can be considerably overcome.”
Most women are not aware of this concessional scheme being provided by the government as less than a thousand women have taken advantage of this scheme to date. The central bank is also making efforts to increase the women workforce up to 20% in the banking sector by the end of three years.