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SBP abolishes 1.5% fee on debit, credit card transactions | The Express Tribune



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The State Financial institution of Pakistan (SBP) has abolished the necessary minimal charge of 1.5%, which was being charged by banks from retailers on monetary transactions performed by way of debit and bank cards, and allowed monetary establishments to cost even lower than 1.5% to advertise digital banking.

The central financial institution has maintained most restrict of the charge at 2.5%, in line with a notification issued on Friday.

Moreover, the SBP made it necessary for all e-commerce gamers and on-line fee receivers in Pakistan to start out accepting funds by way of playing cards most by June 30, 2023.

Earlier, gas stations had stopped accepting funds by way of debit and bank cards and demanded the abolition of 1.5% charge.

Additionally, petroleum product sellers and oil advertising and marketing firms (OMCs) like Pakistan State Oil (PSO) sought permission from the authorities involved for recovering the extra quantity from cardholders in order that their revenue margins weren’t compromised. The authorities, nonetheless, turned down the demand.

“Decrease vary (minimal charge) of service provider low cost price (MDR), ie 1.5%, is abolished…to be able to facilitate the acceptance of card-based funds,” learn the SBP notification.

“All e-commerce/ on-line fee acquirers working in Pakistan shall allow acceptance of home fee scheme (DPS) card for card-not-present (CNP) transactions on their respective fee gateways by June 30, 2023.”

Moreover, interchange reimbursement charge (IRF) for playing cards issued in Pakistan used on home POS (level of gross sales) terminals shall be charged to a most of 0.2% on fee performed by way of debit and pay as you go playing cards and 0.7% most on bank cards.

IRF is just not an extra charge, however stays a part of MDR, which stands at a most of two.5%.

Speaking to The Categorical Tribune, recognized digital banker Sohail Malik mentioned that the MDR had remained a ache level for the reason that starting however the elimination of minimal charge “is a sound step in direction of selling digital banking.”

He identified that retailers had most popular to just accept funds in money as an alternative of playing cards and on-line, because the transaction charge was paid by them and never by debit and bank card holders.

“That (abolition of minimal charge) is an effective factor for digital transactions. That is a part of the State Financial institution’s technique to extend the usage of digital playing cards.”

He emphasised that the choice would assist scale back cash-based transactions and facilitate the documentation of economic system.

There are round 45 million debit and bank cards within the nation. Nonetheless, a majority of the cardholders use playing cards to withdraw money from ATMs. “Hardly, 5-10% use playing cards at POS.”

Effectively-known petroleum supplier Malik Khuda Bakhsh mentioned that the sellers have been paying Rs1.75 per litre to banks on transactions made by way of debit and bank cards. It was compromising their revenue margins, which have been restricted and controlled.

The abolition of minimal charge was a longstanding demand. “We raised the difficulty in a gathering with State Minister of Petroleum Musadik Malik on Sunday final week,” he revealed.

Bakhsh mentioned that the minister had assured them that he would discuss to the central financial institution and different authorities to get the charge abolished.

The SBP mentioned in its Fee System Overview for the quarter ended March 31, 2022 that the variety of POS machines had reached 96,975, whereas the variety of fee playing cards fell barely to 47.2 million from 48.7 million in comparison with the earlier quarter.

Through the quarter ended March 2022, 38.3 million POS transactions amounting to Rs189.7 billion have been processed, exhibiting quarterly progress of 21.9% by quantity and 6.5% by worth.

A complete of 9.1 million e-commerce transactions amounting to Rs27 billion have been processed digitally, exhibiting quarterly progress of 1.3% in worth, although volumes declined by 32.7%.

Moreover, the variety of ATMs elevated by 1.1% as in comparison with the earlier quarter. The worth of ATM transactions stood at Rs2,437 billion.

Printed in The Categorical Tribune, March 19th, 2023.

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