SBP Directs Banks to Open Accounts for BISP Beneficiaries

SBP Directs Banks to Open Accounts for BISP Beneficiaries

Karachi, April 8, 2024 – The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has issued directives to banks to open bank accounts for beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), aiming to streamline the disbursement process of financial assistance directly into their accounts.

The move is part of SBP’s efforts to enhance financial inclusion and efficiency in social welfare programs.

Under the framework provided by SBP, banks are instructed to initiate the account opening process for BISP beneficiaries, starting initially with a pilot phase in Karachi and Lahore. Following the successful implementation of the pilot phase, the framework will be extended to other cities across the country, with adjustments if required.

The process of onboarding BISP beneficiaries involves several steps outlined by SBP:

A. Onboarding of BISP Beneficiaries:

1. Banks will receive account opening information from BISP, including beneficiary details such as full name (as per CNIC), CNIC number, date of birth, mobile number, and residential address.

2. Banks will conduct screening of beneficiary particulars against designated lists by the United Nations Security Council and other relevant lists.

3. After screening, banks will create accounts for beneficiaries in designated branches identified by BISP and generate IBANs for these accounts, which will remain inactive and debit-blocked until further activation.

B. Accounts/ATM Activation and Disbursement:

1. Beneficiaries will visit the relevant bank branch for account activation through Biometric Verification (BV) with liveness checks. In case BV cannot be performed, banks will conduct NADRA Verisys and obtain additional information from beneficiaries.

2. Banks will obtain oral consent from beneficiaries for FATCA/CRS compliance and acceptance of Terms and Conditions.

3. Upon account activation, banks will provide pre-activated PayPak cards to beneficiaries in sealed envelopes, facilitating PIN generation through various channels.

4. Cheque books will not be issued, and internet/mobile banking facilities will not be activated for BISP accounts.

C. Accounts Operations:

1. During the pilot phase, BISP beneficiary accounts will have limited mandates primarily for receiving disbursements. SBP may consider allowing normal operations based on pilot phase results.

2. Banks will recover costs associated with account opening and maintenance from BISP, with no charges levied on beneficiaries except for replacement/duplicate card issuance fees.

D. Facilitation and Support:

1. Banks will establish dedicated functions for coordination with BISP, arrange training programs for employees, and ensure timely resolution of beneficiary complaints.

The SBP’s directive aims to enhance transparency, efficiency, and security in the disbursement process of social welfare funds, ensuring that financial assistance reaches the intended beneficiaries in a timely and hassle-free manner. The initiative underscores SBP’s commitment to promoting financial inclusion and supporting vulnerable segments of society through innovative measures.