For the past few months, people have been receiving text reminders from their banks to visit the branch for biometric verification of their accounts. While some have already done so, many people have not completed the process yet.
Getting your account biometrically verified is important. That is why all the banks are asking their customers again and again to visit the branch.
Biometric Verification is Mandatory for Banks
The State Bank of Pakistan issued a directive in October 2018. The central bank asked all the commercial banks including microfinance and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to verify the bank accounts of their customers.
Notably, the SBP had rendered it mandatory for banks to conduct the biometric verification of account holders in 2016. Before the said year, banks had no electronic authentication system and the entire process was handled manually.
However, the emergence of numerous bank accounts with billions of rupees worth of transactions and misused CNICs of people along with compromised repute of the country’s banking system made it inevitable for the SBP to make biometric verification of all bank accounts opened before 2016 mandatory.
Biometric Verification of Bank Accounts
The banks started sending text messages to their customers to visit their branches for biometric verification in December. Since then, they have been sending out texts, constantly reminding their customers to complete the verification process.
While asking the customers to visit the branch ‘at earliest’, some banks require their customers to visit the branch they have opened an account with for the biometric verification. However, many banks do not have such a specification.
What if You Don’t Verify Your Account?
The banks have been sending frequent reminders to ensure that all the customers get their accounts verified by June 30, 2019, which is the deadline set by the state bank.
If you fail to visit your bank for the biometric verification, your bank account can get blocked. Some people have received letters with a warning that their accounts may be suspended if they do not complete the due process.
As mentioned earlier, the banks began biometric verification of the account owners since 2016. So, there should be no need to undergo the same process if someone has opened their account in or after the said year.
However, some people are still getting these messages even though their accounts were biometrically verified at the time of the opening. If you are one of those, it is prudent to visit the bank and confirm your account meets all the requirements.