Who in the World Charges for SMS Notification Service: Pakistani Banks

When you make a financial transaction with your local bank, whether it’s an ATM cash withdrawal, bank deposit, cheque or any online transaction, the account owner receives a text message confirming that the financial operation has been completed.

This is how SMS notification service from banks works in theory.

But usage of SMS is also how many other services operate as well, for example:

  • Twitter SMS notifications, they send you tweets in SMS
  • Your mobile account notifications, as you are notified about the transactions or remaining balance
  • ISPs: Majority of ISPs interact with customers through notifying them account related info
  • And countless other brands that we use.

The only difference with SMS notifications from banks is that they are charged at Rs. 100 per month, while all other notification services in the world are pretty much free.

The Pros of SMS Banking Notifications

There’s no questioning that SMS notification services are useful. Not only do the customers get information when their transaction has been completed, it also acts as a security measure against any fraudulent activity.

Staying up to date with what comes into your bank account or what goes out is very helpful. Banking customers can know whenever a dubious transaction is made, whether it’s a money transfer into or out of your account.

While money transfers into the account aren’t that dangerous, anything that goes out of the account should be monitored. In case such a thing happens, the user would immediately know of it and can call the bank for more details or to notify them of a fraudulent transaction, preventing such transactions from happening.

Banks Charge More For This Basic Service

We don’t deny the usefulness of the SMS notification feature. However, banks are fleecing their customers when they register for this service (sometimes without their knowledge).

Most banks charge Rs. 100 (Rs. 116 when inclusive of taxes) only for the SMS transaction alerts you get.

It is unethical to deduct upwards of Rs. 100 just for an automated SMS feature. Banks are already profiting from the consumers money, then why the additional charge? Such a cheap feature should come free of cost.

Banks pay a negligible amount for SMS Transaction Alerts

Telecom providers and other companies do not charge for the service messages they send.

Banks and such companies (except telecom providers) buy bulk SMS packages or set up custom SMS servers to send out message notifications.

The cost of the whole thing is negligible when considered on per-customer basis. Despite that, the banks charge each customer heavily and make loads of revenue for something which costs them almost nothing.

When you withdraw, transfer or deposit, the bank often charges the customer separately (especially if the transaction is related to another bank). Those charges, which themselves are unjustified in this age of digital money transfer, should bear the cost of these notifications as well.

Almost all major banks have digitized their systems, yet they continue to charge for everything which is offered free-of-cost worldwide.

Worst part is that most banks subscribe their customers for this service automatically and start charging for it, and that too without their knowledge. Some users might not even require the service and they only get to know about it once they check their statements and then go through the trouble of asking the bank.

App Notifications Are An Alternative

The entire world is moving towards online or app notifications. Why can’t our banks follow suit and move in the same direction?

Electronic notifications will save money and be more reliable than an SMS service for all consumers who have internet access. The users can be given even more details using online notifications.

Final Words

There’s not much left to discuss other than that customers should complain to the State Bank of Pakistan and the banks.

It is most regrettable that banks continue to plunder us and retrieve this monthly or annual “bhatta” from the people of Pakistan.

We also ask the users to stand up and ask for the removal of these unjustified transaction charges.

He is the Editor at ProPakistani.


  • Muhammed Ovais Alam

    I have paid 300rs for SMS notifications.

  • SSyar

    SCB charges 50PKR/mnth and it might add tax as well

  • Muhammad Faheem

    i pay nothing,, askari bank

    • SSyar

      #Shurkiya_Raheel_Shareef :D

      • KS

        double shukriya ganja ka patwari :D

  • hamid

    I have account in hbl and ubl bank but bank never deducted any SMS charges.

    • Abid Ali

      Your sms alerts may be less than 30 per month. HBL deduct Rs. 60 from my account every month.

      • Zohaib Jahan

        Same with me. HBL

        • hamid

          Zohaib Hbl don’t detuct SMS charges on freedom, Id and work account. Anyone can opens these accounts except of work account , but mostly these accounts are current not saving, if you are interested in saving accounts then you have to pay charges for SMS.

          • Zohaib Jahan

            I have current account, it applies Rs. 58 per month for SMS alerts

            • hamid

              On freedom, work and id they only don’t charge SMS charges

      • hamid

        Hbl don’t detuct SMS charges on freedom, Id and work account. Anyone can opens these accounts except of work account , but mostly these accounts are current not saving, if you are interested in saving accounts then you have to pay charges for SMS.

    • Ahmad Nauman Mirza

      The policy has been revised from 1st july 100 rs deduction with tax for sms notifications ….

      • hamid

        Ahmed Hbl don’t detuct SMS charges on freedom, Id and work account. Anyone can opens these accounts except of work account , but mostly these accounts are current not saving, if you are interested in saving accounts then you have to pay charges for SMS.

    • Imran ali

      HBL use to deduct each month, my account was inactive for a few months. When i transferred some amount to that account, they deducted for the last 6months or so as well.

      • hamid

        Imran Hbl don’t detuct SMS charges on freedom, Id and work account. Anyone can opens these accounts except of work account , but mostly these accounts are current not saving, if you are interested in saving accounts then you have to pay charges for SMS.

    • SSyar

      you must have a salary account, on behalf of your company,, that is why there is no charges but when you open as normal you’ll have to pay

      • hamid

        SSyar Hbl don’t detuct SMS charges on freedom, Id and work account. Anyone can opens these accounts except of work account , but mostly these accounts are current not saving, if you are interested in saving accounts then you have to pay charges for SMS.

        • SSyar

          well there are term & conditions for those..,, but yes they are free. I myself own a HBL At Work account :)

    • umar5150

      i have UBL they deduct 50 rupiz every month for sms charges.UBL is not free

      • hamid

        Ubl don’t detuct SMS charges on every accounts, but if you have saving account then you must have to pay SMS charges,

        • Taha Najam

          Is this a spam bot account? Same comment in the thread copy pasted four to five times. Reported.

          • hamid

            No, this is not spam bot account.

  • guest

    pay nothing for MCB

  • Usman Arif

    Meezan Bank has charges over Rs. 400 / year

  • drummed up

    During the current situation, where deposits are falling and loans are riskier than ever, minimum balance requirements shed due to SBP, banks stoop low so much as charging for sms notifications. They have little elbow room to make even small concessions for their customers.
    SMS alert charges are ok. It ensures that an sms alert will reach in time without fail. Moreover, if a paid-for and subscribed sms alert fails to reach customer in time in event of a risk to account sanctity, bank can be sued for a massive payout.

  • Gemini

    Most people don’t know the power complain, But State Bank and other institutes are working good. I have complained about few banks and got excellent response from them even bank manager gave his personal number many time If I have any complain.

    • Ishtiaq

      What is “power complain”? N how did you manage it with the State Bank?

  • Faheem Ahmed

    true….please ask state back

    • KS

      you mean to say ask ishaq dollar?

  • I just deactivate SMS notifications because of charges… :( ABL

    • Ishtiaq

      Mufta Spotted!

      • Ahmad Nauman Mirza

        Its his money…Banks are already charging for debit cards annually and on every transaction from other ATMS….Thats pretty lame calling someone mufta….If you have no issue give 100rs monthly but dont taunt others…..

        • hamid

          Bank don’t charge fees of debit card on every account.

      • Kashif Surhio

        Bhai jisky pas halaal ki kamai hy wo apna paisa barbad nahi karta, agay aap khud samajhdar hain

        • Ishtiaq

          Chot kahien aur hi lag gai. Ayien main kuch ointment laga dun. Afaqa hoga.

        • Mirza Aasauf Baig

          Sahi Btt Ha.

        • Ishtiaq

          Kahan gaye hilal ki kamai, haram k bankon main rakhney wale? Oper se sms bhi free main chahne wale.

          • Kashif Surhio

            Ishtiaq beta, BANK me ek adad account current naam ka hota hy jispy interest nahi milta. Ab tumhara nahi pata k tum kitna haraam khaty ho, is liye bolny se pehly achy se study kar liya karo Q k har koi tumhari tarha nahi sochta or na hi karta hy

      • Taha Najam

        No he’d be a mufta if he was availing the benefits without paying anything. I think you mean to say kanjoos.

        • Ishtiaq

          Kanjoos nahi yar, Muftay, bank ki services use karni hain magar sub free main, banks har transaction pe inko alerts bheje magar free main? Kyuon k inki halal ki kamai hai. Banks ka sara business intrest ka hai, haram hai. Aur yeh halal ki kamai ka tag laga rahe hain yahan beth k. Jo shaks Halal ki Kamai se Rs. 30 kharch nahi kar sakta I’m sure woh net bhi perosiyon k wifi ka chori ka use kar raha hoga aur yahan usi se beth k posting kar raha hoga. Is liye Taha dear, I’m on my words Muftay.

          • Kashif Surhio

            Kia sure wali baat ki net ki, matlab full time besharam insan ho, agar tumhary pory khandan me kisi ka bank account hy to us ki statement nikalwa kar dekh lena k bank pehly se hi ATM and service charges k saalaana PKR 800 kaat’ta hy. lekin tum jese behaya, besharam, or kamzarf log bas dosron py keechar uchalny ka kaam hi karty hain Q k sach kisi or ko bolo G tumhari jalti hy

            Ohhh,, kahin nooni to nahi ho na, full time haraam khor????

        • Kashif Surhio

          Taha beta tumhy shayad pata ho k banks yearly ATM card and service charges k PKR800 pehly se hi kaat’ty hain, agar tumhy nahi pata to zara apna bank statement check karna(Wese ghar me kisi ek insaan ka to bank account hoga na?)
          Lekin tum jese log kuch study nahi karty or aa jaty hain comment marny
          us py Ishtiaq jese log bhi aa jaty hain apni aqalmandi dikhany k liye

  • Faheem Janjua

    UBL either a wrost bank yet thye do not charge anything for Internet banking and sms service as well.

    • S78

      Internet banking is for only those customers who have ATM cards and they are charging annual fee of ATM cards which automatically covers internet banking charges :(

  • SMZ

    this is the most stupid article i have ever come across…. Lets consider each industry that you have mentioned.

    Brands – Marketing Budget … imagine paying for watching an add on TV
    ISP – Recovery Budge … imagine being charged for Bill that you receive by post

    Banks charge because it is costly to put up an infrastructure that is integrated with the core system such as IBFT, Over the counter transactions, cheque clearing systems, Internet Banking and operators are charging for each SMS just as they are charging any mobile phone account.

    i would advise the writer to at least think before writing any think stupid.

    • Taha Najam

      Well said, but alas, this is propakistani. If you are expecting well thought out articles, you’re setting yourself up for major disappointment.

  • Fayez Najeeb

    Get HBL Freedom Account and get rid of most of the stupid bank charges.

  • Taha Najam

    Another badly researched article. Most banks these days charge nothing on SMS alerts, and the ones who do charge Rs 50 to 60 max on value added services.

    • Mirza Aasauf Baig

      Most Bank charge 116 Rupees….

      • Taha Najam

        No

        • Taha Najam

          No they don’t. Alfala, faysal bank, Hbl, ubl, soneri, js bank, standard chartered, askari, mcb mostly don’t deduct anything at all.

          • Kashif Surhio

            Because they already deduct PKR 800/moth as ATM and service charges
            Theek se study kar liya kar

            • Taha Najam

              Pehle ye decide kar k Rs.800/month he ya per year. Sala hame parhane aya he.

            • Taha Najam

              Pehle ye decide kar k Rs.800/month he ya per year. Saala hame parhane aya he.

  • Mirza Aasauf Baig

    I pay 116/Month, HBL.
    I hate it. =(

  • Mirza Aasauf Baig

    HBL Deducts Rs 115 every Month.
    I hate it.

  • Mirza Aasauf Baig

    Askari Bank, deducts nothing.

  • Mohammad ASif Khan

    ma hbl k sms servis kasy bund kr skta hn kia code ha

  • Abdul Rauf Mujahid

    Bank Alfalah is also deducting 98.6PKR/month for sms alerts.