A majority of customers might not be able to verify their banks accounts through biometric systems as merely 10 days are left to the end of the deadline. The unverified accounts are likely to be blocked by the concerned banks, which will restrict their customers from make any transactions from their accounts.
According to bankers, the number of bank accounts yet to be verified through NADRA-based biometric process are estimated in millions as the response from the customers remained lukewarm despite several remainders from the banks through SMS, emails and phone calls.
There are over 16 million bank accounts maintained by the commercial banks of various categories from saving accounts to current accounts with several types such as salaried individual, joint bank accounts, self-employed, and etc, as per data of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
They said that banks made special arrangements to facilitate their customers while setting up extra biometric verification devices on various counters to avert long queues of customers but bank branches did not see expected visits of their customers in the past seven months. It is a tradition in Pakistan, a section of customers always does the required process in the last dates ahead of the deadline and some of them at the eleventh hours, they remarked.
Commercial banks began the process of biometric verifications of their customers from 1st December 2018 in accordance with the guidelines of the central bank. The deadline was set to June 30, 2019.
Several Banks Remain Functional on Weekends
Several banks, through their designated branches, remain opened on weekends to facilitate their customers particularly for the purpose of biometric verification of their accounts.
These bank branches will also be open on the upcoming weekends. Not all banking services are available on Saturdays and Sundays but a few designated counters are functional for the single purpose.
Deadline Likely To Be Extended
A majority of the bankers think that the central bank has to extend the deadline for account verification process as many of the customers have not turned up to bank branches. There are many customers who reside or work overseas whereas some of them are old patients with pension accounts. Individuals maintaining joint bank accounts are also facing problems as one of their partners is away from the country or suffering from illness.
For non-resident Pakistanis, SBP introduced an alternate process for biometric verification of bank accounts this month asking them to follow this process through NADRA Verisys along with the submission of a few documents.
It is not necessary that to visit the exact branch of your banks where you maintain a bank account. You can make perform the account verification through any branch of your bank.
If you are busy during banking hours, you can visit your certain branches of your bank on Saturday and Sunday.
Some of the banks such as Meezan Bank and Habib Bank Limited offer biometric verification facility of the bank accounts through their specialized ATMs.
Non-resident Pakistanis can use the NADRA Verisys to complete the process of re-verification.