The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has set an annual transaction limit of $30,000 for making cross-border payments through debit/credit cards on an individual basis. The SBP directed commercial banks that the limits on these cards, as well as payments made through them for domestic and international purposes, should be aligned with the cardholder’s profile.
Misuse of Credit/Debit Cards for Cross-border Payments
Various commercial banks have launched their cards with premium offers and incentives that have caught the attention of businesses and the elite class. The card was being used for commercial purposes rather than for the intended purpose, such as during a tour to a foreign country. SBP has advised banks to run an awareness campaign to inform customers about the fact that cross-border commercial payments through cards issued to individuals are not permissible.
As per SBP, the year will start from 1st November; however, the limit for the current year will be calculated from the date of issuance of this circular. “It shall be the responsibility of a customer to ensure that his/her annual limit is not breached at any time. However, banks are required to monitor these limits on a consolidated basis for each individual,” reads a statement from SBP.
SBP Set Limits on Travelling Cash
SBP has halved the cash-carrying limits on foreign currency for international travel to $5,000 per visit and $30,000 per year for citizens aged 18 years or above. In comparison, individuals below the age of 18 years (minors) can carry out FCY (foreign currency), equivalent to $2,500 per visit. Meanwhile, the limit for taking out cash foreign currencies will remain unchanged for people traveling to Afghanistan. The central bank has issued a clarification saying that the per-visit limits will be applicable forthwith, while the annual limits will be applicable from 1st January 2023.