SBP for digitising corporate payments

Directs banks to offer online portals for digital payments, receipts by corporates


Our Correspondent October 16, 2021
A Reuters file image of SBP logo

KARACHI:

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has directed its regulated entities, including banks, microfinance banks, and payment system providers/ operators, to offer digital channels of payments to their corporate clients.

“The regulated entities are required to extend 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 digital payments, card payments using point of sale (POS) terminals, QR codes, mobile devices, automated teller machines (ATMs), kiosk or any other digital payment-enabled device,” said a circular issued by the SBP on Friday.

In order to monitor the progress, the SBP has advised banks to submit a roadmap of implementing these measures within 30 days. Banks are also required to submit quarterly progress reports to the SBP on the number of businesses facilitated for digitisation of their payments and receipts.

“These measures will increase the documentation of value chains and help businesses manage their large-value transactions more effectively,” the circular said.

The initiative will also facilitate the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) recently introduced measures on integration of businesses with the FBR system and making corporate payments through digital means.

The regulated entities are required to make efforts for taking on board non-corporate players including sole proprietors, small and medium enterprises for the provision of digital payment services.

The central bank had made various interventions to promote digitisation in the country, which were expected to provide convenience to the customers in fulfilling their financial needs through digital infrastructure, the circular added.

Previous initiatives of the SBP to promote digitisation in the country included the issuance of customers’ digital onboarding framework for opening of bank accounts digitally by residents, issuance of instructions for enhancing digitisation initiatives in banks/ microfinance banks, provision of repayment facility to bank borrowers on alternative delivery channels, streamlining payment card security regulations in line with international standards and launch of RAAST instant payment system.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2021.

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