The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday set the timeline of June 30, 2022 for exchange companies (ECs) to ensure that the integrated Biometric Verification System (BVS) is implemented.
“All ECs/ECs-B categories are required to continue their coordination with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to ensure that the integrated system is implemented within the stipulated timeline of June 30, 2022,” a circular issued by the SBP to exchange companies said.
The SBP had on Oct 7 restricted buying of dollars from open market as it made biometric verification compulsory for all buying $500 or above.
The SBP said exchange companies would be required to conduct biometric verification for all foreign currency sale transactions equivalent to $500 and above and outward remittances. This requirement was applicable with effect from Oct 22, 2021. However, this deadline could not be met due to a lengthy process to attach the BVS with Nadra.
The SBP provided another option for biometric verification after the deadline of October 22 through e-Sahulat which is a franchise of Nadra. The central bank had asked the exchange companies to continue biometric verification with e-Sahulat till November 5.
After November 5, each exchange company is required to get permission to continue with the biometric verification since the system could not be connected with Nadra. Nadra has informed that the android-based BVS could also be integrated with the core business application of ECs/ ECs-B, the SBP added.
The central bank had requested Nadra to facilitate the EC sector in the implementation of BVS. However, given the technical changes currently faced by ECs sector, Nadra proposed to offer an android-based BVS for ECs/ECs-B.
The SBP, on the request of Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP), had allowed the ECs sector to accommodate its customers by using the services of android facility of Nadra named e-Sahulat till the implementation of android-based BVS.
The SBP forwarded the technical requirements, received from Nadra, to ECs/ECs-B with an objective to ensure implementation of BVS within the given timelines,
“We understand that any technical and financial matter related to implementation of BVS is the sole discretion of Nadra and respective EC/EC-B. Therefore, ECAP or individual ECs/ECs-B may like to approach Nadra directly for any technical or financial issues, regarding implementation and procurement of systems, devices etc.,” said the SBP.
“All ECs/ECs-B are advised to deploy BVS as provided by Nadra at their outlets for biometric verification after Nov 5, 2021,” said the SBP.
Meanwhile, ECs maintain that so far Nadra has not provided BVS.
The SBP said any relaxations or extensions in the June 30, 2022 timeline will only be allowed to the companies that will approach the central bank with genuine reasons along with an explicit time bound implementation plan.