Circular Letter No. 10 of 2020
The Presidents/Chief Executives
All Banks/Microfinance Banks
Dear Sirs/ Madams,
Measures to Combat COVID 19 Pandemic – Branchless Banking Operations
In order to minimize the risk of Covid-19 spread due to biometric verifications and physical interactions of general public at agent locations, the Authorized Financial Institutions(AFIs) are advised to take following measures with immediate effect:-
- Biometric Verification requirement on legacy Branchless Banking Level “1” accounts is extended till September 30, 2020.
- Branchless Banking customers can withdraw or deposit cash amount up to Rs. 25,000/- per month from their Level “0” account without Biometric Verification till September 30, 2020. However, two factor authentication is mandatory for cash out transactions.
- Daily transaction limit of Branchless Banking Level “0” account is not applicable on payments to trusted merchants (such as schools, hospitals, utility companies, merchants etc.) till September 30, 2020.
- AFIs may introduce Biometric Verification through their mobile application for onboarding new customers under Branchless Banking Level “1” account after complying with NADRA Security Standards.
- Two factor Authentication shall be mandatory on all fund transfers and merchant payments through Branchless Banking accounts.
- AFIs shall not charge their customer on fund transfer (Inter and Intra Bank Fund Transfer) from their Branchless Banking Wallet as already mandated vide PSD Circular No. 02 of 2020 dated March 18, 2020.
- In order to ensure safety and hygiene measures during provision of Branchless Banking services, AFIs shall:
- Ensure that their agents wear masks during provision of Branchless Banking services and make available Liquid Soap and Sanitizers at all Biometric Touch Points.
- Educate beneficiaries to wash hands with soap and water or apply sanitizer during provision of Branchless Banking Services.
2. AFIs may onboard Branchless Banking agents through digital channels including portals or Apps subject to following terms and conditions:
- Agent shall be on boarded based on full-fledged KYC and all back-end verifications including verisys. However, AFIs shall maintain database of these accounts and shall conduct Biometric Verification and Business Location visit of these Agents through their authorized representatives till September 30, 2020. In case of non-compliance, the operations in these agents’ accounts shall be terminated.
- After September 30, 2020, Biometric Verification and Business Location visit of Agents shall be mandatory prior to opening of these accounts.
- Transaction limit of these Branchless Banking agents shall be Rs. 500,000/- per month prior to Biometric Verification and Business Location visit.
3. Please acknowledge receipt.
(Muhammad Akhtar Javed)