The widespread use of high speed internet and advanced featured smartphones, people have transformed from conventional banking to the mobile banking or branchless banking to do their daily life banking needs. Telecom operators have also facilitated the masses with their innovative products and features.
As for now customers have to pay charges while doing transactions or opening a new mobile banking account but the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has advised the telcos to waive charges associated with opening a new mobile bank account starting from 2018.
This new directive from the SBP will help the economy as till now many people only use services like EasyPaisa to send and receive money, now they can become a proper part of the banking industry without paying any charges.
In a recent Senate session, Senator Mian Mohammad Ateeq Sheikh raised the question and revealed that the banks themselves set up service charges for branchless banking transactions depending upon their service quality.
According to the ministry of finance, the cellular operators cannot offer financial services to the public under the existing rules and regulations as only the authorised commercial banks can provide such services after acquiring approval from the State Bank of Pakistan. Though, cellular companies can collaborate with the authorized banks to provide branchless banking services where they will act as service agents in the complete equation.
The State Bank of Pakistan has authorized 12 banks in Pakistan to provide branchless banking services in the country, namely;
- United Bank
- Habib Bank
- Muslim Commercial Bank
- Bank Alfalah
- Meezan Bank
- Askari Bank
- J S Bank
- Dubai Islamic Bank
- Mobilink Microfinance Bank
- U-Microfinance Bank
- Telenor Microfinance Bank
- FINCA Microfinance Bank