The mandatory minimum fee of 1.5 per cent that banks were required to charge merchants on financial transactions made with debit and credit cards has been eliminated by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and financial institutions are now permitted to charge even less than that amount to encourage the use of digital banking.
According to a notification released on Friday, the central bank has kept the fee’s upper ceiling at 2.5 per cent.
Also, the SBP mandated that all online merchants and payment recipients in Pakistan begin taking card payments no later than June 30, 2023.
Before, petrol outlets stopped taking payments made with debit and credit cards and asked that the 1.5 per cent fee be eliminated.
The elimination of the minimal fee has long been demanded.
Eliminating the minimal fee is a good thing for digital transactions, according to experts. The State Bank’s plan to boost the use of digital cards includes this, as this decision would also improve the documentation of the economy and help decrease cash-based transactions.
Across the nation, there are about 45 million debit and credit cards. Nonetheless, the majority of cardholders use their cards to make ATM withdrawals. Just 5–10 per cent of POS users utilise cards.
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