Back in 2016, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) made it compulsory for all the banks to do biometric verification of all the new bank accounts for the accounts’ opening and ATMs using the procedure. This verification is termed as Standard Operating Procedure and is applicable to all the private as well as government banks. After that, banks installed biometric scanners on all the ATMs nationwide to enable ATM users to use biometric information as the PIN to operate ATMs.
Why Biometric Verification for Bank Accounts
The step has been taken by SBP keeping in view bank-related crimes, fraud ATM and debit card usage, misuse of debit and credit card information and funds transfer to anonymous accounts without the consent of the actual account holder. This process was first initiated in 2016 for the new as well as existing accounts.
However, recently due to a security breach of Bank Islami and other account information leak online, SBP has instructed all the banks to do biometric verification of all the accounts including:
There has been an increase in the total bank accounts due to branchless and microfinance banking. According to the recently published report by the central bank, there are a total of 50 million bank accounts out of which 34 million bank accounts are branchless and of microfinance banks. Due to increasing security threats, it is mandatory for the banks to do biometric verification of all accounts including:
- NGO’s and Non-profit organizations
Banks’ Duty for Biometric Verification
The procedure is quite similar to the one that happened for the biometric verification of the SIM cards and the first deadline set by the central bank is 30th June 2019 so it’s a lot of work to do within 7 months that includes manual work, scanners as well as documentation. Not only that, the banks also have to bear a cost of 10 rupees per person to corroborate the data with the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA). The banks have already started to intimate their customers via SMS and the customers have started to visit the nearby branches to verify their bank accounts.
Citizen’s Duty for Biometric Verification
It’s better to do biometric verification of our bank accounts as early as possible since the workload and queues are going to increase in the coming days. Let’s not wait for the deadline to come near and visit the nearest branches to do the verification.