Thursday, 1 December 2022

New Deadline for implementation of Biometric Verification System for Exchange Companies

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has set a new deadline of June 30, 2022, for exchange companies to ensure the implementation of the Biometric Verification System (BVS).

A circular issued by SBP states, “All ECs/ECs-B categories are required to continue their coordination with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to ensure that the integrated system is implemented within the stipulated timeline of June 30, 2022.”

The SBP, on October 7, had restricted purchasing of dollars from the open market as biometric verification was made compulsory for all buying $500 or above.

The new instructions set by SBP required exchange companies to conduct biometric verification for transactions equal to and above $500 for all foreign currencies. The central bank had required the exchange firms to implant these requirements from October 22, 2021, however, due to a time taking process to attach the system with NADRA, the deadline could not be met.

To resolve this problem, SBP introduced biometric verification through e-Sahulat after the deadline of October 22. Due to the failure of the system connection with NADRA, the exchange companies are required to continue with biometric verification from November 5.

Due to the technical difficulties faced in the implementation of the BVS, NADRA offered an alternative android-based system. Till the development of the android-based BVS, the SBP has allowed the exchange firms to serve their customers using e-Sahulat.

Furthermore, the central bank stated that extensions and relaxations in the June 30, 2022 timeline will only be provided to companies that have genuine reasons as well as an explicit time-bound implementation plan.

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