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State Bank of Pakistan issues procedures to open bank account without visiting bank branch
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SBP devised procedures to open bank account without visiting bank branch

After the great success of the Roshan Digital Account framework, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has now issued a ‘Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework’ to remotely open bank accounts of resident Pakistanis by using websites, portals, mobile applications, and digital kiosks, etc.

It will primarily help freelancers, self-employed or unemployed women, and recipients of remittances from abroad to open bank accounts digitally with less documentation requirements.

Typically, accounts can be opened as either savings or current accounts. The framework identifies four categories on the basis of functional limits, such as deposits or withdrawal limits, fund transfer limits,  and the documents required for the opening of an account.

Categories of Various Bank Accounts

The categories of accounts include:

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1.       Asaan Digital Account
2.       Asaan Digital Remittance Account
3.       Freelancer Digital Account
4.       Digital Account

Asaan Digital Account‘ with first category is the easiest to open as it requires basic information and the least number of documents, with some limits on functionality.

The last category, i.e., Digital Account, is without any functional restriction but needs more information. A customer can start with a basic account and can upgrade over time, when needed.

Under this framework, SBP has instructed the banks to ensure that the decision to open or decline these accounts does not take more than two working days from the day of completion of all the requirements.

Moreover, the banks will also be required to provide a tracking number to the applicant so they can follow up on status updates.

Requirements of documents for Opening of Bank Account without visiting Bank branch

1. Full Name as per Computerized/ Smart National Identity Card
2. Father/ Spouse Name as per Computerized/ Smart National Identity Card
3. Gender Details
4. Computerized/ Smart National Identity Card Number
5. Date of Issuance of Computerized/ Smart National Identity Card
6. Date of Birth
7. Place of Birth
8. Mother’s Maiden Name
9. Contact Numbers: Mobile number (mandatory), Landline Number(optional)
10. Personal eMail Address (optional)
11. Current/ Mailing Address
12. Purpose of Account
13. Source of Income/Occupation as per Self-Declaration
14. Name(s) and Relationship(s) with Prospective Remitter(s)

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Future of Digital Bank account opening

The SBP has advised the banking industry to implement this framework by December 31, 2021. It is expected that the move will result in increased convenience for the customers to fulfill their financial needs through swift and secure digital financial infrastructure in Pakistan.

The SBP has provided an enabling regulatory environment for its regulated entities to facilitate various customer segments. SBP’s recent initiatives include the introduction of the National Payment System Strategy (NPSS), instant payment system (RAAST), Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs), and the introduction of Roshan Digital Accounts (RDAs) for Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRPs).

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