SBP extends Nadra’s verification system deadline till December 31

Shahnawaz AkhterWeb Editor

07th Jun, 2021. 08:58 pm
SBP extends Nadra’s verification

SBP extends Nadra’s verification: The central bank has extended the last date for the National Database Registration Authority’s (Nadra) verification system for banking customers till December 31, 2021, a notification issued on Monday said.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has granted an extension to banks for using Verisys in place of obtaining photocopies of customers’ identity documents, it added.

Earlier, the SBP had allowed the banks to use Nadra’s Verisys facility up to June 30, 2021. The decision was taken after considering the intensity and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

Verisys is an online facility to verify documents issued by the National Database Registration Authority. In March 2020, the central bank took measures to mitigate the pandemic’s impact by amending regulations related to the Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT).

Through a notification issued on July 13, 2020, it said that it had noticed that overseas Pakistanis /walk-in / occasional customers were experiencing problems regarding the operation in their bank accounts, ensuring the execution of financial transactions by them and getting financial services from banks/development financial institutions.

The State Bank had notified several measures for banks to facilitate these customers.

It said the banks / DFIs may use the Nadra Verisys in place of obtaining certified photocopies of required identity documents and biometric verifications wherever required as per the SBP’s AML/CFT regulations, including for request of activation of the dormant account by the customers.

They should retain Verisys for record-keeping requirements (digitally or hard copy).

SBP extends Nadra’s verification

The banks / DFIs should update records of their customers regarding their postal address or email address or registered mobile or landline numbers. They may use either of these mediums for ensuring efficient and reliable communications with their customers, including wherever customer request/instruction is desired as per the requirement of AML/CFT regulations, including for activation of dormant accounts, it said.

In other measures taken through the latest notification, the central bank said the banks may relax the requirement for acknowledgment of physical presence of the customer for opening accounts without biometric verification, in case of the bank accounts of legal persons/arrangements where the signatories (persons authorised to open or operate the accounts) are unable to travel to Pakistan, amid Covid-19 restrictions.

However, the bank would ensure customers’ consent and take necessary measures to mitigate the risk of identity theft.

This provision is only applicable for accounts of legal persons/arrangements resident in Pakistan, and whose signatories are temporarily outside Pakistan, the SBP said.

The SBP has instructed the regulated entities not to mark any account as dormant or in-operative till December 31, 2021. However, the accounts already marked dormant would remain dormant unless activated as per the regulations.

Further, the central bank said in case of expiry of computerised national identity card (CNIC) or another identity document (other than high-risk customers) during the course of the business relationship, the regulated entities may allow continuity of the business relationship/operations in the account up to December 31, 2021.

However, the regulated entities would ensure reasonable measures to obtain a copy of renewed CNIC / identity document from the customers within this timeline.

The regulated entities are strictly advised to comply with the relief measures provided by the SBP regarding the impact of Covid-19, particularly regarding biometric verification and activation of dormant accounts. In case of non-compliance, enforcement action may be initiated by the SBP, the notification added.

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