Mobile banking has changed the way people complete transactions and for the large part of the Pakistani population, it has provided an easier alternative to conventional banking practices. To further facilitate the customers, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has advised the telcos to waive charges associated with opening a new mobile bank account starting from 2018.
SBP has also directed the operators to stop charging fees on cash deposits from the start of next year, a move which will help the industry to further grow in the country. Currently, the telcos charge the mobile account holders whenever they deposited money into their accounts or opened a new account.
This new directive from the SBP will help the economy as till now many people only use services like Easypaisa to send and receive money, now they can become a proper part of the banking industry without paying any charges.
According to Dawn, the Finance Ministry, in response to the question from Senator Mian Mohammad Ateeq Sheikh revealed that the banks themselves set up the service charges for branchless banking transactions depending upon their service quality.
According to the ministry, the cellular operators cannot offer financial services to the public under the existing rules and regulations as this seat is only reserved for the banks which can operate after acquiring approval from the state bank.
Though, cellular companies can collaborate with the authorized banks to provide branchless banking services where they will act as service agents in the complete equation.
SBP has also authorized 12 banks in Pakistan to provide branchless banking services in Pakistan, namely; United Bank, Habib Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank, Bank Alfalah, Meezan Bank, Askari Bank, JS Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Mobilink Microfinance Bank, U-Microfinance Bank, Telenor Microfinance Bank and FINCA Microfinance Bank