KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday announced that now the consumers will only have Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) chip and PIN compliant payment cards, which will be active right from the day issued to them for payments and online e-commerce services.
The State Bank said that in order to promote digital payments, measures have been taken to make them more secure, introducing new features and promoting their use. In consultation with the industry and other stakeholders, the SBP has taken more steps to make digital transactions and card payments more secure and easier.
“They will be able to make payments up to Rs3,000 by just tapping the card on POS machines and no PIN will be required,” said the SBP. Consumers will also be able to make loan repayments through cards.
They will be able to lodge complaints through digital channels without the need to visit a bank branch. The State Bank has directed the banks to implement all these measures by June 30, 2021.
For eliminating the risk of skimming of payment cards by fraudsters, the SBP has directed that ATM and POS networks in Pakistan will only accept EMV Chip and PIN compliant payment cards.
The measure, aimed at further strengthening the security of digital payments and curtailing the risk of frauds, is a culmination of SBP’s efforts that started in 2016 outlining a detailed roadmap for adoption of EMV Chip and PIN standard for payment cards in Pakistan.
“Banks have also been directed to step-up their efforts to facilitate customers in case they face any issue while using their payment cards,” said the SBP.
The SBP has allowed those banks who have already implemented 3-D Secure (an international standard that secures online e-commerce transactions) can now activate their customers’ payment cards for online e-commerce transactions without the need of specific requests for activation. Earlier in 2019, the SBP had directed banks to implement 3-D secure protocol to prevent frauds in online transaction and as a result, 15 banks had already adopted this standard for securing online transactions.
“The new measure is expected to promote online e-commerce ecosystem and shape consumer behavior towards online e-commerce digital payments in the country,” said the SBP.
For making small payments more easier and quicker, the SBP has allowed banks to relax the requirement of entering PINs for transactions up to Rs3,000. Banks depending on their risk management policies may decide on the amount, which may be exempted from PIN requirement on card transactions including contactless payments.
However, the SBP has directed banks to ensure that customers are adequately protected from undue liability arising out of misuse of this facility.
Taking notice of consumer complaints regarding delays in receiving refunds after resolution of disputes, the SBP has directed all banks to immediately credit customer accounts once they receive fund from either merchants or acquiring banks.
The regulator has also directed banks to facilitate their customers in registering their complaints and disputes using mobile apps and internet banking portals without the need for physically visiting branches.
Enhancing the drive towards digitisation of payments, the SBP has also directed all banks and microfinance banks to take measures to facilitate their borrowers in making repayments of loans such as consumer loans, auto loans etc. digitally using internet and mobile banking applications of any bank.
Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2021