The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has made it mandatory for the entities it regulates, including banks, microfinance banks, payment system operators, and payment system providers, to provide digital means of payments to their corporate clients to enable them to easily send and receive their payments.
Furthermore, in order to monitor the progress of implementation of these instructions, SBP has advised banks to submit their roadmaps for implementing these measures within 30 days. The banks are also required to submit quarterly progress reports to SBP, which would encompass the numbers of businesses they would facilitate for digitization of their payments and receipts.
According to details, SBP has asked its regulated entities to facilitate their institutional clients, including corporations, companies, and partnerships, for making large value payments through digital channels.
The regulated entities are now required to develop online portals/platforms for digital payments and receipts of corporates, including online interbank fund transfer services, online bill/invoice sharing and payment services like over the counter (OTC) digital payment services/facilities, card payments using Point of Sale (POS) terminals, QR codes, mobile devices, ATMs, Kiosks or any other devices or tools enabled to materialize digital payments.
SBP expects that these measures will increase documentation of value chains and help businesses more effectively manage their large value transactions. The initiative will also facilitate the implementation of measures recently introduced by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) about the integration of businesses with the FBR system and conducting of corporate payments through digital means.
The regulated entities are also required to make all efforts to take on board the non-corporate players, including sole proprietors, Small & Medium Enterprises and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises for the provision of digital payments. This initiative follows other recent steps of SBP to promote digitization in Pakistan, including:
- Issuance of Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework for opening of bank accounts digitally by resident Pakistanis
- Issuance of instructions for Enhancing Digitization Initiatives in Banks/MFBs with the vision to promote digitization in the banking sector and encourage the use of digital channels
- Provision of Repayment Facility to Bank Borrowers on Alternate Delivery Channels (ADCs)
- Streamlining Payment Card Security Regulations in order to bring convenience to the consumers with risk coverage that commensurate with the ever-evolving payment card markets and in line with international standards
- Launch of RAAST, Pakistan’s first Instant Payment System – an initiative by SBP
These steps are expected to result in increased convenience for the customers to fulfill their financial needs through safe, rapid, and secure digital infrastructure in Pakistan