The State Bank of Pakistan has issued instructions to the banking industry to further improve digital payment facilities and promote financial inclusion in the country.
According to a statement issued by the State Bank, three important steps have been taken to facilitate digital payments.
The first step is that banks are now required to offer the PayPak domestic card as "PayPak" first priority to their customers, while international payment scheme cards like Visa, MasterCard and Union Pay. Can be issued at the request of the users.
The second step is that the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR), the fee that banks impose on vendors, will now range between 1.5 and 2.5 percent. Previously, banks were allowed to collect custom fees from vendors.
Third, a shopkeeper's income will now be reasonably distributed among different entities so that all entities receive equal incentives. These companies include card issuer, card machine installation company and payment scheme company.
These initiatives are expected to increase the number of payment card acceptance destinations in the country, which will help to shape the economy digital and also promote financial inclusion.
In order to clear another flaw in the check clearance system, the State Bank has allowed the use of the "Pakistan Real Time Interbank Settlement Mechanism" (Prism) for settlement of checks.
Earlier, it took several weeks for check clearance in remote areas of the country. Now it is expected that in the troubled areas of the country there will be less time for these payment methods, ie, check clearance.
It will also help financial institutions located in remote areas to use digital methods for their clearance and settlement obligations.