State Bank of Pakistan launches new scheme for foreign remittances
ISLAMABAD – The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has launched Mobile Wallet scheme with an easier registration process to accelerate the flow of home remittances through banking channels and facilitate expatriates with a reliable, swift and cost-effective conduit to transfer money to Pakistan.
Home remittance can now be received directly in M-wallets and there is no requirement to visit a bank branch, fill forms or stand in a queue to receive the remittances, official sources in SBP said.
Under the scheme, banks in partnership with telcos have introduced new, or tag the existing, M-wallets for home remittances. link
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Users of these M-wallets would be able to receive home remittances in their accounts and use them when needed to withdraw cash or transfer funds, make purchases or pay bills, the sources said adding that every US dollar equivalent of money received in these accounts will also be provided with an airtime of two rupees equivalent in their mobile phones.
These M-wallets can only be fed with home remittances and no local deposit would be allowed.
One account can keep a maximum balance of Rs1.5 million and there is also restriction on receiving home remittance on a daily basis as the account holder would be able to withdraw cash up to Rs 50,000 per day and up to a maximum of Rs 500,000 in a month.
According to the sources, accounts can instantly be opened and activated at a bank branch or a branch less banking agent location with minimum documentation through biometric verification.
Already opened M-wallets (Branchless Banking Level 1 accounts) may also be designated as BB- HRA through an easy registration process.
On receiving home remittances in BB-HRAs, free airtime will be extended in the SIMs registered against these accounts. For example, on receiving US$100, the receiver will get free airtime of Rs. 200 on the registered SIM.
Additionally, the remittances received in M-wallets can be withdrawn from branchless banking agent network throughout the country and the cash can be withdrawn from an Autoteller Machines (ATM) by using ATM cards issued against M-wallets.
Moreover, funds from M-wallets can be transferred to any other branch less or conventional banking account for easy payments to friends, family or anyone and can also be used for payment of electric, gas, telephone and mobile phone bills or top ups.