Biometric verification of bank accounts has been made sure of since quite some time. People have been rushing to the banks to get their accounts verified before they are laid dormant.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was responsible to generate the idea of biometric verification for people living outside Pakistan. The sole purpose was to ensure there is no monetary laundering due to many events that have taken place in the past.
People living outside Pakistan have faced problems in accessing their Pakistani bank accounts. For this, the SBP defined a process to verify the bank accounts and bring them under lawful use. This way, there will be less chances of fraud, theft and money laundering.
Process identified by The State Bank of Pakistan
In order to do this, SBP asked the Non Pakistani Residents to contact their respective banks via email or post, and provide them evidence of identity and proof documents such as passport, temporary or permanent resident permits, National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP), Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) to substitute biometric verification. By doing this, NRPs would be able to access their Pakistani Bank Accounts like they used to.
1. For NRPs, banks can ask for signatures on undertakings from customers with a Non Resident Pakistani status, NICOP or CNIC, visas or resident permits, valid passport and exiting Pakistan stamp. The bank may also obtain information such as other accounts maintained by the bank itself.
2. For those customers who do not comply with the status of NRP, but are temporary residents living outside Pakistan, the banks are allowed to enquire further and ask for evidence such as valid passport, visa, exit stamp, expected returning date and much more.
3. In cases, where one member of a joint account is living out of Pakistan, verification is to be done depending on the status of the account holders. For the account holder, living in Pakistan, the normal process of fingerprint verification needs to be followed, while on the contrary, the person living outside Pakistan is eligible for either process 1 or 2, as mentioned above.
Allied Bank has been super helpful in following this process accurately without causing any hassle for the residents living overseas at a permanent visa. On the other hand, travellers on visitors visa have experienced immense hardships in managing finances. The matter could not be resolved by the bank. It was a big hassle for visitors as many people rely on pension money and other means and sources which is why they do not carry handy cash.
This matter needs to be addressed as it is inconvenient and inappropriate for customers relying on card money.
HABIB METRO BANK
Habib Metro Bank has been an utter disappointment for many people living outside Pakistan. They demanded undertakings, expected date of return, and application to request reactivation of the dormented account, in addition to CNIC/NICOP, valid passport copy, residential status and others. They also demanded additional proof of the basis customers are living overseas.
Habib Metro must maintain a decorum and respect their customers and provide quality services to them.
All banks must follow proper procedures to maintain customer satisfaction instead of creating difficulty for them to access through their own money.
Javeria Fahad ( 04-11-19)