Banks Aren’t Complying With SMS and Email Alert Rules

It has been learned that local banks are not sending alerts for digital transactions to their customers as per the directives issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

The central bank issued a circular on Monday highlighting that banks are shirking the instructions to send SMS and email alerts to customers for both domestic and international digital transactions. It added that this negligence has led to compliance and related issues for fund senders and receivers.

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It was also mentioned that such transaction alerts shall be generated and relayed to the customers immediately after the execution of the transaction. Banks/MFBs are henceforth advised to ensure that all OTPs, as well as SMS alerts for financial transactions, are generated and sent immediately after customers’ accounts are either debited or credited.

In addition, customers should also receive the credit/debit confirmation advice through email and in-app notifications (where applicable and available), the circular added.

SBP issued a warning for penal action against banks in case of non-compliance as per the relevant legal and regulatory provisions. It had previously encouraged banks and Micro Finance Banks to provide clients free transaction notifications through SMS and email for all their international and domestic digital transactions, which essentially included but was not limited to ATMs, POS terminals, and Internet banking transactions. It was also said that such transaction alerts would be generated and sent to customers promptly after the transaction was completed.

It should be noted that various banks are charging Rs. 50 per month to Rs. 125 per month plus FED on SMS alerts despite clear instructions of the banks. Some of the banks send free SMS alerts on debit transactions through ATMs and POS whereas these banks either charge for SMS alerts or don’t send any communication to their customers at all.

Many banks do not even send emails to their customers whereas customers of some banks receive emails and SMS alerts after a gap of many hours of transactions. It has been observed that these instructions are not being complied with, and customers do not receive SMS alerts immediately despite posting of transactions in their accounts resulting in non-compliance of regulatory instructions as well as causing difficulty for sender and receiver of funds. Similarly, a number of times, customers also do not receive their One-Time Passwords (OTPs) via SMS on time due to which they face difficulty in completing their transactions, SBP circular stated.

Banks’ Failure is SBP’s Failure

Despite instructions of the banking regulator for sending free SMS alerts, if banks are still charging a service cost on this service, hence this is the failure of the State Bank of Pakistan.

Earlier in November 2018, SBP issued its instructions to banks for sending free SMS alerts to banks. Despite various reports, the SBP did not take action against the banks whereas the banks have been deducting monthly SMS alerts charges from customers’ accounts.

Not only do the banks have to implement the free SMS alerts or email service, but customers should be reimbursed for all deducted charges for the same service.


  • Jaisa munh waisi chapair…
    Jaisay hum pakistani waisa sullook hum se bankon ka hai.
    SMS alert charges abhi bhi deduct kiye jaate hain taqreeban tamam bankon mein.


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