Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Online Money Transfer Services: SBP Allows Banks to Charge Customers

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed banks to charge customers for online funds transfer services, including intra- and interbank funds transfer (IBFT).

In March of last year, the SBP advised banks and other service providers to offer free IBFT services to all their customers, regardless of the size of the transaction designed to address the extraordinary situation of deadlocks amid the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

The aim was to make it easier for bank customers to meet their banking needs through online services at exceptionally difficult times and to avoid face-to-face interaction to stem the spread of COVID.

But now It is encouraging that the Covid-19 situation has improved significantly and, despite the fluctuation in the number of cases, the general conditions now allow relaxation of mobility restrictions while following the appropriate SOPs.

The SBP has directed banks to provide free digital funds transfer services to individual customers up to at least a minimum aggregate sending limit of Rs25,000 per month per account/wallet. However, banks can choose to set this aggregate limit at a higher value as well. This would allow individual customers to make as many free funds transfer transactions as they would remain within their aggregate monthly free transfers limit.

How much bank will charge for money transfer:

For transactions above the aggregate limit of Rs25,000 per account in one month, banks may charge individual customers a transaction fee of a maximum of 0.1% of the transaction amount or Rs200, whichever is less.

The SBP has also informed banks that all digital funds transfer transactions between different accounts within the same bank (intra-bank funds transfers) will remain free. In addition, inbound interbank funds transfer transactions must also remain free.

The SBP also advised banks to ensure proper disclosure of the IBFT amounts charged and free of charge, together with the fees applicable to their customers, by sending regular notifications via SMS, apps, and email.

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