State Bank eases digital payments amid coronavirus crisis

Published: March 20, 2020
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SBP instructs banks to waive all charges on fund transfers through online banking channels such as IBTF. PHOTO: FILE

SBP instructs banks to waive all charges on fund transfers through online banking channels such as IBTF. PHOTO: FILE

In the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has undertaken a number of measures to battle the pandemic by promoting digital payments, internet and mobile banking.

With an objective to reduce the need for visiting bank branches or the ATMs for transactions, the central bank, after consultation with stakeholders, has instructed banks to provide their services seamlessly taking due care of reducing the risk exposure amid coronavirus, according to an official statement issued by the SBP on Thursday.

SBP starts implementing faster retail payment system

The SBP has also instructed banks to waive all charges on fund transfers through online banking channels such as Inter Bank Fund Transfer (IBFT) and SBP’s Real Time Gross Settlement System for customers.

However, this will enable people to transfer money through mobile phones or internet banking avoiding the need to visit a bank branch or an ATM without incurring any cost.

While banks are advised to assist their customers in using online banking by taking all necessary precautions ensuring safety and security of customer’s funds, the financial industry is also instructed to immediately facilitate education fee and loan repayments through internet banking or mobile devices.

Moreover, the central bank has directed financial sector to increase vigilance on digital channels and increase monitoring on cyber threats by running awareness campaigns through different channels to educate customers on the use of internet banking or mobile phones – limiting the use of currency notes and restricting branch visits.

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