The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has eliminated the mandatory minimum fee of 1.5% that banks were required to charge merchants on financial transactions made with debit and credit cards, and financial institutions are now allowed to charge even less than that amount to promote the use of digital banking.
In a notification issued on Friday, the central bank stated that the fee’s top limit will remain at 2.5%.
Additionally, the SBP required all online merchants and payment recipients in Pakistan to accept card payments by June 30, 2023 at the latest.
Before, gas stations stopped accepting debit and credit card payments and requested that the 1.5% levy be removed.
It has long been advocated that the basic fee be eliminated.
Experts agree that eliminating the lowest cost would be beneficial for digital transactions. This is part of the State Bank’s strategy to increase the usage of digital cards because it will also help to strengthen economic paperwork and reduce cash-based transactions.
There are roughly 45 million debit and credit cards in the country. However, the vast majority of users use their cards to withdraw money from ATMs. Only 5–10% of POS users really utilize cards.