SBP Issues PRISM Operating Rules For Banks & Financial Institutions

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has directed all commercial banks to strictly use the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) of the beneficiaries for transfer of funds between local and foreign banks within the country and from foreign countries.

The central bank has made it mandatory for banks to make transactions classified as Inter-Participant single Customer Transfers (3rd Party Funds Transfers – MT103 and Inter-Participant Multiple Customer Transfers – MT102).

The central bank may give an exception for certain transactions provided prior permission is requested by the banks and other participants.


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IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number, which can be used when making or receiving international payments. A customer IBAN doesn’t replace your branch code & account number ─ it’s an additional number with extra information to help overseas banks identify your account for payment.

The IBAN consists of up to 32 alphanumeric characters, comprising a country code, two check digits and a long and detailed bank account number used in bank transfers. The IBAN structure is defined by the international standard under ISO 13616-1:2007 and check digits are performed using MOD 97 (ISO 7064). The individual countries and formatting are described in the official ISO IBAN registry.

SBP has introduced this condition on banks in its revised Pakistan Real-time Interbank Settlement Mechanism (PRISM) Operating Rules (PORs) 2018 for the participation and operation of the PRISM. These rules were revised due to rapid innovations, developments, business and technological transformations in PRISM (RTGS).

Banks and financial institutions need to ensure execution of all transactions before activation of SBP Exchange Period, failing will result in additional charges from time to time. In case of time extension request of the PRISM System, the remitting institution will also inform and seek a consent of the beneficiary institution for transferring the funds or securities, the new rules added.


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SBP will install, operate, maintain and upgrade the hardware and software comprised in the host system at the processing location. SBP may also require the banks to upgrade the hardware/software installed on their premises.

The central bank’s team may at any time, inspect hardware/software installed on their premises. Banks will need to install, maintain, operate and upgrade one or more frontend systems which will allow the bank & FI to perform their functions pertaining to the operations of the PRISM at their own expense after getting clearance from SBP.

SBP and every bank shall, at their own expense, make use of telecom services provided by Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Ltd (PTCL) or any other telecom services provider, as notified by SBP in writing, to connect the front-end system with the host system.

The PRISM System is being operated by the State Bank of Pakistan under the supervision of Payment Systems Department in Karachi. Institutions eligible to become Direct Participant of PRISM are all commercial banks, all the members of clearinghouse and any other Institution meeting the minimum infrastructure requirements prescribed by the SBP in writing from time to time.