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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Roshan Digital Accounts are being offered by banks to provide digital banking solutions to millions of Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRPs). Now NRPs willing to undertake banking, payment and investment activities can do so through digital channels without visiting bank branches in Pakistan. Any NRP can now easily open a bank account in a Pakistani bank from abroad digitally, with simplified requirements, initially eight banks are offering this service. The Roshan Digital Account is a conventional bank account that can be opened and operated remotely, over the internet.

Currently eight (8) banks are providing digital accounts to overseas Pakistanis:

    1. Bank Alfalah

    2. Faysal Bank

    3. Habib Bank

    4. MCB Bank

    5. Meezan Bank

    6. Samba Bank

    7. Standard Chartered Bank

    8. United Bank

There are two types of accounts offered under Roshan Digital Accounts. These are:

    1. Foreign Currency Value Account (FCVA)

    2. NRP Rupee Value Account (NRV)

Any of the following are eligible to open a Foreign Currency Value Account (FCVA):

    1. A non-resident individual Pakistani.

    2. A non-resident POC card holder.

    3. A resident individual Pakistani who has duly declared assets held abroad, as per wealth statement declared in latest tax return with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). For the time being, these individuals will need to visit a bank branch to open this account as digital on-boarding is not yet available for resident Pakistanis.

    4. Employees or officials of the Federal or Provincial Governments posted abroad in the tax year

Any of the following are eligible to open NRP Rupee Value Account (NRVA):

    1. A non-resident individual Pakistani.

    2. A non-resident POC card holder.

    3. Employees or officials of the Federal or Provincial Governments posted abroad in the tax year

The definition of non-resident has been adopted from the Income Tax Ordinance (Chapter 5, Division II, Section 82), which is as follows:
An individual shall be treated as non-resident for a tax year if the individual —

    1. is outside of Pakistan for a period of, or periods amounting in aggregate to, 183 days or more in the tax year (July to June); or.

    2. is outside of Pakistan for a period of, or periods amounting in aggregate to, 120 days or more in the tax year and, in the four years preceding the tax year, has been outside of Pakistan for a period of, or periods amounting in aggregate to 365 days or more

The following documents are required, along with the account opening form

    1. CNIC/ NICOP/ POC.

    2. Passport (Pakistani and/or foreign country).

    3. Proof of non-resident status.

    4. Proof of profession and source of income/ funds:

      1. For salaried individuals: job certificate/ salary slips.

      2. For business persons: tax return/ rent agreement/ any other proof of inco

After the on-line form has been successfully completed and documents correctly uploaded, the account will be opened within 2 working days. If there is any need for further clarification on the part of the bank, their representative will contact the customer.

Yes, apart from a conventional banking account, banks will also provide the option of an Islamic Banking Account to customers.

A non-resident Pakistani/POC holder can open an FCVA/NRVA jointly with other resident/non-resident Pakistanis, as per applicable laws/banking practices. The account shall be treated as a non-resident account. However, a resident Pakistani having foreign assets declared with FBR can open an FCVA jointly with a resident only.

No. Customers already having account in Pakistani bank will have to open a new RDA account with one of the eight banks currently designated by SBP.

Yes, a minor can open RDA jointly with his/her parents/guardian, after fulfilling the legal formalities and the chosen bank’s policy requirements.

FCVA can be opened in all major currencies which include US Dollar (USD), Pound Sterling (GBP), Euro (EUR), Japanese Yen (JPY), Canadian Dollar (CAD), UAE Dirham (AED), Saudi Riyal (SAR), Chinese Yuan (CNY), Swiss Franc (CHF) and Turkish Lira (TRY). However, if the customer wishes to invest in the special foreign-currency denominated security of the Government of Pakistan (the USD-denominated Naya Pakistan Certificate), the required amount of investment will have to be converted into US dollars at the prevailing rate.

These accounts can be fed with remittances received from abroad through banking channels. Funds in an NRVA can also be transferred from the customer’s own Foreign Currency Value Account (FCVA) or other NRVA with the same bank. Moreover, returns on investments and disinvestment proceeds on account of investments made from these accounts can also be credited in these accounts.

No, these accounts cannot be credited with the funds generated from local sources except for the profit/return earned on eligible investments made from these accounts.

Yes, the funds available in these accounts can be used for making any legitimate payment or transfer to other local accounts in Pakistan. The funds can also be withdrawn in cash in Pakistan through ATM or cheque.

A - Investments allowed from NRP Rupee Value Account (NRVA):

    1. Pakistani rupee-denominated debt securities of Government of Pakistan (including Pakistani-rupee Naya Pakistan Certificates, T-bills, PIBs, Sukuk and any other registered securities of the government as notified from time to time).

    2. Shares quoted on the stock exchange(s) in Pakistan.

    3. Residential and commercial real estate

    4. Pakistani-rupee denominated Deposit products of the bank maintaining the account.

B – Investments allowed from Foreign Currency Value Account (FCVA):

    1. Foreign currency-denominated debt securities of the Government of Pakistan, including USD Naya Pakistan Certificates.

    2. Foreign-currency deposit products of the bank maintaining the account.

Investment can be made for purchase of any kind of residential and commercial properties, both in lump sum and instalments. This includes new housing schemes, existing schemes, the purchase of land, and the purchase of already constructed property.

Investment in real estate from NRVA can be made either in the name of the account holder or jointly with his/her family member(s), which includes parents, brother, sister, wife, children and lineal ascendant and descendants.

Yes, banks are allowed to issue ATM/ debit Cards in these accounts and these can be used for payments/withdrawal in Pakistan and abroad. Further, banks are also allowed to issue cheque books for these accounts, if required by the account holder. The digital accounts will also provide the facility of virtual debit cards in the coming days for shopping in Pakistan or abroad.

In Pakistan, the funds will be disbursed in PKR. However, in case a bank has an arrangement to disburse foreign currency through ATM, disbursement can also be made in foreign currency in case of withdrawal from FCVA.

In case of withdrawal outside Pakistan, either the currency of the resident country or any other currency offered for withdrawal in the relevant country shall be disbursed, subject to terms and conditions of payment scheme e.g. VISA/Master. It may be noted that applicable conversion rates may vary from currency to currency.

Once the account is opened, the account holder will have the option to use all sorts of digital services being offered by the bank, including internet banking, virtual debit card, etc. However, if the customer so wishes, he/she can receive ATM/Debit card and/or cheque book either through courier at his/her registered address abroad or in Pakistan OR by physically visiting the bank’s branch. The bank shall share the services charges for sending the ATM/Debit Cards and/or cheque book with the account holder and also obtain explicit consent from the account holder for sending them at a registered mailing address abroad or in Pakistan.

Yes, use of ATM/Debit card abroad shall be subject to applicable charges as per respective bank’s schedule of charges.

The funds available in these accounts can be remitted back from Pakistan at any time without prior approval from the bank or SBP. However, in case of disinvestment in real estate before three years from the date of investment, the principal amount invested can be repatriated at any time while the capital gain, if any, can be repatriated after three years from the date of investment. In case the investment is made in instalments, the date of payment of the last instalment shall be treated as date of investment. Please refer to Annexure A para 1 (d) of the FE Circular 01 of 2020 available at http://www.sbp.org.pk/epd/2020/FEC1.htm.

The charges will be applied by the sending bank abroad as per their schedule of charges.

Any transaction through these accounts shall be subject to the charges applicable to transactions as per the schedule of charges of the bank available at the bank’s website.

    1. For transfer of funds from FCVA to NRVA, the bank will use the prevailing buying exchange rate at the time of transfer of funds while for transfer from NRVA to FCVA, the bank will use the prevailing selling exchange rate.

    2. At the time of receipt of funds in NRVA from abroad, the bank will use the prevailing buying exchange rate at the time of transfer of funds into the account. For remitting funds from NRVA back from Pakistan, the bank will use the prevailing selling exchange rate.

    3. For transfer/ payment using ATM/debit cards, additional service charges of the bank and payment scheme e.g. VISA/Master may be applicable.

In case of death of the account holder, the balance available in the account and the outstanding investment made from the account including accrued profit/return, if any, will be paid to the legal heirs of the deceased in accordance with applicable law of inheritance.

The profit on the Naya Pakistan Certificates (NPCs) shall be subject to deduction of tax at rate of ten percent at source. This tax shall be full and final discharge of tax liability in respect of profit on the Certificates. There shall be no requirement for tax filing in respect of profit on the Certificates. An example of calculation of tax on NPCs is give hereunder:


Currency Tenor Investment
Amount
Rate of Return
for example
Profit Tax Deductible
@ 10%
Net Profit Amount Receivable on Maturity
(Principal + Net Profit)
USD 12 M 100,000 6.5% 6,500 650 5,850 105,850
PKR 12 M 100,000 10.5% 10,500 1,050 9,450 109,450

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