Transaction limit for branchless banking revised by State Bank of Pakistan
The limit or transactions and the maximum level 0 and level 1 balance accounts for branchless banking system were revised by the SBP up to 100% so as to facilitate the customers throughout their operations.
The Level 0 transactions would include Rs 25,000 instead of RS 15,000 while the monthly limit would go to 40,000 instead of Rs 25,000 to include a yearly 200,000 limit from 120,000. Previously level 0 account balance holders could have up to Rs 100,000 as maximum balance but it has now been doubled to be at Rs 200,000
The Level 1 transactions (biometric account) have been increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 as monthly limit has increased from Rs 60,000 to Rs 80,000 in order to bring the yearly limit to be Rs 800,000 from the previous Rs 500,000. The maximum balance that can now be maintained, however, has been brought from being limitless to be at Rs 400,000. The funds transfer limit from Rs 15,000 per month to Rs 50,000 per month has also been enhanced after the sender and receiver have biometrically verified themselves through the system while those who do not have this BVS (Biometric Verification System) facility will be using the previous 15,000 limit only. The transfers can be made from account to person as well as person to person too with included Inter Bank Funds Transfer too.
The Level 2 account conditions and services have been similar to those that were previously defined while the Level 3 account service has been annulled though technologies and alternate delivery channels have also been revised to include POS terminals, internet banking, ATM/debit cards as well as 3G and 4G for such services too.
Requirements for opening a branchless banking account
According to branchless banking regulations of 2016, the conditions of opening a branchless banking account of level 0 remains the same as that required by the basic account i.e. customer’s data requirement of photo and CNIC scan. For level 1 banking, an electronic verification system has been introduced by the central bank called the biometric account in which the customers should provide their cell numbers while other majority information and details are transferred automatically through the biometric verification system.
Requirements for enhancing new technologies
Banks have been asked to have risk-based information in connection with the 3G/4G , mobile phones, SMS, USSD, WAP, SAT etc as these are being used on each level of branchless banking accounts of customers. Safety, security and efficiency monitoring has been asked to be ensured for the system components as well.
The SBP has revamped these regulations so that they are in line with the international standards and are according to the targets set by the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) of Pakistan which tells the minimum requirements in this sector for banks. The senior management will be ensuring that efficiency and adherence are followed while the directors will be responsible for having the oversight and strategic direction maintenance.
The detailed and complete revision of branchless banking regulations 2016 are given here.