Central bank asks regulated entities to provide online payment portals
The central bank has asked all banks, microfinance banks, payment system operators and payment system providers to compulsorily provide digital means of payments to their corporate clients, a circular released by the State Bank of Pakistan stated on Friday.
The move is geared towards greater digitization of payments and receipts in the corporate sector.
SBP asked its regulated entities to enable their institutional clients, including corporations, companies, and partnerships for making large value payments through digital channels.
Regulated entities, the circular stated, are now required to provide online portals and platforms for digital payments and receipts of corporate clients, including online interbank fund transfer services, online bill/invoice sharing and payment services such as over the counter digital payments services/facilities, card payments using point of sale terminals, QR codes, mobile devices, ATMs, kiosk or any other digital payments enabled device.
“In order to monitor the progress of implementation of these instructions, SBP has advised banks to submit roadmap of implementing these measures within 30 days. Banks are also required to submit quarterly progress reports to SBP on the number of businesses facilitated for digitization of their payments and receipts,” the circular stated.
SBP expects these measures would increase documentation of value chains and help businesses effectively manage their large value transactions.
“The initiative will also facilitate implementation of Federal Board of Revenue’s or FBR recently introduced measures on integration of businesses with FBR system and conducting of corporate payments through digital means.”
Regulated entities are also required to make all efforts to bring onboard non-corporate players, including sole proprietors, small and mid-size enterprises or SMEs and micro small and medium enterprises or MSMEs for providing digital payments. This initiative follows other recent SBP initiatives for promoting digitization in the country including:
These moves are specifically designed to promote digitization in the country and these steps are expected to result in increased convenience for customers “to fulfil their financial needs through safe, rapid and secure digital infrastructure in Pakistan”.