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SBP revamps branchless banking regulations

SBP revamps branchless banking regulations

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Wednesday that it has revamped Branchless Banking Regulations to keep pace with the international branchless banking practices and to achieve the targets set out in National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).

This regulatory framework outlines the minimum requirements to be adopted by banks offering branchless banking in the market place.

According to revised regulations, the board of directors of banks would be responsible to provide the strategic direction and maintain an oversight while senior management will institute necessary internal controls and ensure adherence to applicable laws and regulations.

Scope of alternative delivery channels and technologies has been expanded through revised regulations to include 3G and 4G spectrum, POS terminals, internet banking and ATM/debit cards etc for providing branchless banking services.

The SBP has also introduced person to interbank funds transfer (IBFT) service with and without biometric system.

The limit for person-to-person (non-account holders) transactions conducted through biometric verification system has also been increased.

“The central bank has always promoted financial inclusion by expanding outreach of banking services to all segments of society,” said the SBP.

NFIS, launched in 2015, targets a growth of 50 per cent in bank accounts held by adult population by the year 2020 with the underlying purpose of enhancing the outreach of basic financial services to unbanked and underserved population.

Branchless banking is the main driver and most effective tool for achievement of targets set in NFIS.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2016

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