State Bank of Pakistan has ordered all the banks and mobile financial service providers such as Jazz Cash, EasyPaisa to stop charging consumers for the text message alert on transactions.
The order will come into effect from the first of January, 2019.
Many banks charge as much as Rs.100 per month from their customers for SMS alerts regarding the transactions or withdrawal of cash using ATM cards.
The service has its importance as it can alert them on any unusual activity in their account, but it is seen that monthly charges often put off many account holders from subscribing for the service.
The new instruction was among many, issued from the SBP for all the commercial banks as part of security measures following a recent wave of cyber-attacks which exposed information security of many banks.
Here are some of the SBP directions for the commercial banks:
- Remove charges on SMS alerts and provide this service free of cost to every customer.
- All banks are directed to upgrade their system by March 31 so that customers can activate and block their cards for online and international transactions as and when they want.
- All banks shall replace the existing debit and credit cards with chip-and-pin payment cards by June 30th next year.
- All banks have been advised to make an internal vulnerability assessment to identify the flaws in the payment system and submit recommendations to SBP by March 31st on how and when this could be fixed.
- Third-party testing to be carried out and reports be submitted by December 2019.
- All banks to activate online banking only after the biometric verification.
- Real-time fraud monitoring tools to be developed by January 31st with a procedure to detect, report and response to the threats.
- 24-hour monitoring of online payments.
- Imposition of daily transaction limit with international partners and cross-border transactions to minimize the cyber attacks.
- In case of any theft, banks should inform the central bank as well as customers within 48 hours and compensate them in as many days.
- Banks should continue to educate customers regarding the banking fraud techniques, such as MS spoofing, impersonation by fraudsters — like those BISP and Jeeto Pakistan messages that ask for your personal information and tempt you into believing that you won some money.
- If any bank or financial service provider fails to comply with the instructions or misses the deadline, it may face suspension of digital payment products and services.
Via: The Nation