State Bank of Pakistan has directed all the commercial banks and mobile financial providers like Easypaisa and JazzCash operating in Pakistan to provide free of cost SMS alerts of transactions to their customers with effect from January 1st, 2019.

Not to mention that banks in Pakistan normally provide SMS alerts to their customers while charging almost Rs. 100 per month. However, the next year brings a bit relief in this regard as one has to pay Rs. 100, no matter he does transaction only once or twice a month.

Free of Cost SMS Alerts in Pakistan

This order is part of a new set of directives issued by the central bank. The initiative aims to counter the wave of cybercrime attacks against Pakistani banks more recently. Here are some of those instructions issued by the SBP to financial sector commodities:

  • Banks are directed to remove charges on SMS alerts and provide this service free of cost to every customer.
  • Banks are required to upgrade their system by March 31 so that customers can activate and block their cards for online and international transactions as and when they want.
  • Banks shall replace the existing debit and credit cards with chip-and-pin payment cards by June 30th next year.
  • Banks are advised to activate online banking only after the biometric verification.
  • Real-time fraud monitoring tools to be developed by January 31st with a procedure to detect, report and response to the threats.
  • Banks are required to have 24-hour monitoring system of online payments.
  • Banks are bound to inform the central bank as well as customers within 48 hours in case of theft and compensate them in as many days.
  • Banks should continue to educate customers regarding the banking fraud techniques, such as MS spoofing, impersonation by fraudsters — like those BISP and Jeeto Pakistan messages that ask for your personal information and tempt you into believing that you won some money.
  • If any bank or financial service provider fails to comply with the instructions or misses the deadline, it may face suspension of digital payment products and services.