Banks in Pakistan will now charge an online fund transfer fee from July 1, 2021.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that customers could now be charged 0.1%, or Rs200, once the per-account monthly limit of Rs25,000 for online fund transfers has been crossed.
SBP issued a circular allowing banks, microfinance banks (MFB), and electronic money institutions (EMI) to charge a transaction fee for online fund transfers.
As per the circular issued from SBP allowed banks to start charging the fee from July 1, 2021, it did say that “however, Banks/MFBs/EMIs are encouraged to provide free of cost IBFT services to their customers to promote adoption of digital payments in the country”.
SBP’s deputy governor Sima Kamil said that the country’s banks have now been brought into a regulated structure of charging customers for online fund transfer services, calling it a “price-control” mechanism as the situation around Covid-19 had eased in the country.
Kamil, the ex-president of United Bank Limited and former director of the First Microfinance Bank, said that before the pandemic, banks and MFBs used to charge Rs100 to Rs400 per transaction for money transfers.
“We reviewed the data and decided this,” added Kamil, who was appointed as SBP’s deputy governor by the government in August 2020 for a period of three years.
“These charges were removed during Covid-19 to facilitate customers meet their banking needs through online services, and avoid in-person interaction,” said Kamil, while speaking to a TV channel on Friday.
“After an improvement in the Covid-19 situation, fee for money transfers has now been set. Banks are no more independent to charge whatever they want. There is price control to it,” added Kamil.