The State Bank of Pakistan has clarified that mobile banking as well the branchless banking transactions in the country is a completely monitored activity, however, the approved institutions to carry out the activity are the financial or microfinance organization, not the telecom firms.
As per the reports of local media, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has mentioned their concern over breaking of the anti-terrorism management in mid of the challenges faced to properly manage the telecom firms which are providing transaction facilities amounting to billions of rupees per month through the mobile-wallet accounts.
It was mentioned that there were some issues with the control system of the accounts since the counter financing terrorism (CFT) and anti-money laundering (AML) rules were not applicable to Level-0 and Level-1 accounts.
The central bank stated that the marketing agents are a part of the distribution chain of the telecom firms which works in close proximity with the financial institutions through service level agreement for giving financial services under the dominion of notified branchless banking rules.
The SBP further stated that the AML/CFT controls are present on every transaction irrespective of the level of BB account and the involved transaction money.
Also, not a single transaction could be carried out under the BB system anonymously without the need to verify and identify the involved customers.
The State Bank of Pakistan said that the possible risks of misuse of the BB system are unconvincing owing to the risks associated with it are being thoroughly checked via proper customer due assiduousness controls put into practice by the Microfinance banks or banks.
Additionally, branchless banking transactions are regulated and monitored like any other banking transaction done conventionally, informed the SBP.
While clarifying the role of the telecom firms, the SBP said that they only give a communication medium and distribution chain for their customers to carry out the transactions through mobile phones.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has got no role in supervising the conduction of the financial transactions through the BB channel, SBP added.